I Am in Here: Implicit Assumptions About Proximate Selection of Nearby Places
A mobile application whose functionality is somehow based on the ability to connect to locative digital environments, needs to be able to bridge between its current location and a digital counterpart of its current place. This is normally envisioned as a simple proximate selection process, where the application searches the surrounding environment and selects, or assists the user in the selection, of the appropriate place. However, with place-based services becoming truly ubiquitous, for any particular location, there will always be multiple potential target places for selection. In this work, we are concerned with these real-word challenges and their implications for wide-scale place selection. The objective is to investigate the main elements that may affect the reliability of proximate selection of nearby virtual places. Our research design is organized around 3 independent variables that may affect place selection: the characteristics of the place environment, the position of the query in relation to the ground zero position of the target place and the error introduced by positioning systems. The results show that, even for small distances, the ability of the system to identify the target place as the most relevant place or even to return the target place as a possible place for selection, can be severely affected, especially in environments with high place density. The key implication is that virtual discovery, by itself, is not a suitable method for place selection, and should be combined with other techniques, such as detection of physical proximity or explicit user indications.
KeywordsProximate selection Place-based Google places Mobile check-in
This work has been supported by FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia within the Project Scope UID/CEC/00319/2013.
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