Interactive Mobile Based Tour Guide

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INTERACTIVE MOBILE BASED TOUR GUIDE
M.U.E.Wijesuriya1*, S.U.Mendis2, B.E.S.Bandara2, K.P.Mahawattage2, N.Walgampaya2, D. De Silva2 1

* Corresponding Author, Faculty of Computing, Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT), Malabe, Sri Lanka. Email: mshi_87@yahoo.com 2 Corresponding Author, Faculty of Computing, Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT), Malabe, Sri Lanka.

ABSTRACT Sri Lanka being a popular tourist destination entertains a large number of tourists each year. Tourists are issued a printed guide booklet to find out interesting places during the visit. Due to the lack of up to date information and navigation support, tourists are not able to visit all the attractions during a visit. Our researched was based on discovering a solution to improve this situation providing convenience to the visitors. This paper presents the work carried out in developing an interactive mobile tour guide application to replace the traditional tour guide booklet. Main features of the application are; virtual tour of important places located, voice based information provider, location identifier and a map based path selection function to select the best path to a specified destination within the premises. The application was developed based on the Android platform, and delivered as a mobile application. Main goal of this project is to help the tourists to travel on their own and take full advantage of the visit without missing the main attractions. Key words: Augmented Reality, Android, GPS-Global Positioning System, Web Service, Smartphone, XML-Extensible Markup Language

1.

INTRODUCTION

The introduction of smart phones has made a significant impact on the lives of the people leading to major improvements in mobile application developments during the past few years. These days’ mobile phones are used to provide numerous functions in addition to conventional voice communications. The capabilities of smart phones enable the locationbased augmented reality services a reality [1]. Nowadays tourists expect to get personalized access to tourism information at anytime, from anywhere through any media. Mobile tourism guides provide the user with such a ubiquitous access [2]. With the advancement of technology, mobile devices have made it easier to access information anytime, anywhere. The trend is to replace the printed tour guides with mobile applications. Travelers tend to use such mobile applications due to the convenience they present over conventional guide books. Given inherent advantages, the tourism sector is viewed as one of the most important engines of growth and development in the Sri Lankan economy and as such, is a key focus in the Government’s economical strategy. With the end of unrest in north, the expected boom in the

industry over the years to come will have a noticeable impact [3]. The low adoption of new technologies in the local tourism industry could be a barrier in attracting tourists to the country. Significant number of tourists, such as backpackers guides themselves by using printed tour guides, which is not an efficient mechanism. When analyzing the tour guide systems of other countries it was found that there have been many researches carried out regarding mobile based tour guide systems. Cyberguide is a research which was carried out in order to build a mobile context-aware tour guide. Using the knowledge of the users current location, as well as a history of past locations it has been build to provide services that are expected from a real tour guide [4]. Developing a Location Based Tourist Guide Application is basically a GPS enhanced travel expo application, which allows the users to participate in a self guided tour of a specific area. It will also display detailed information about specific features linked to their current position [5]. Next Generation Location based services for mobile devices is a mobile computing application that provides information and...
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