Decentralized Spatial Computing in Urban Environments

  • Patrick Laube
  • Matt Duckham
  • Mike Worboys
  • Tony Joyce
Part of the GeoJournal Library book series (GEJL, volume 99)


This chapter presents the concept of decentralized spatial computing (DeSC) as a way to embed dynamic spatial data capture and processing capabilities within our built urban environment. The chapter illustrates the potential of DeSC for safeguarding privacy in a dynamic location-based services scenario: Mobile service users protect their potentially sensitive location by the use of a decentralized query algorithms, solely collaborating with peers close by and thereby excluding the privacy bottleneck of an omniscient global service provider. In an extensive set of consecutive experiments several decentralized query algorithms were tested, trading the level of privacy for the quality of service. The use of a real world test bed, – a small part of Ordnance Survey’s OS MasterMap® Integrated Transport Network™ Layer for Southampton – underlines the experiments’ validity. The chapter concludes with a research and development agenda for DeSC in the urban context.


Decentralized spatial computing Ambient spatial intelligence Mobile wireless sensor networks Privacy Location-based services 



Patrick Laube was funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC), Discovery grant DP0662906 and the ARC Research Network on Intelligent Sensors, Sensor Networks and Information Processing (ISSNIP). Matt Duckham’s research was supported by the Australian Research Council under ARC Discovery Grant DP0662906. The authors would furthermore like to thank Ordnance Survey of Great Britain.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick Laube
    • 1
  • Matt Duckham
    • 2
  • Mike Worboys
    • 3
  • Tony Joyce
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of ZurichZürichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Geomatics DepartmentThe University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis, University of MaineOronoUSA
  4. 4.Ordnance Survey of Great BritainSouthamptonUK

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