Prototyping a location aware application for UBiT.: A map-based application, designed, implemented and evaluated.
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Through the research performed in this thesis, it has been shown how location awareness and maps can be exploited to facilitate the use of library resources, such as information on documents and objects. A prototype has been developed to demonstrate the feasibility of integrating several different information sources for this use. The prototype created allows for users located within the city centre of Trondheim to search for documents and to locate the library departments holding them. The user is shown a map and given information on how to travel to the nearest bus stop, as well as bus schedules on how to get to the selected library department. Several information sources for the prototype has been identified and evaluated. The prototype communicates with BIBSYS for document information retrieval, Google Maps for map generation, team-trafikk.no for bus schedules querying and Amazon.com and LibraryThing.com for book cover image downloading. To ensure data consistency some local data sources are also maintained, such as a list of all the UBiT (NTNU library) departments in Trondheim. The prototype was implemented so that it would satisfy a set of requirements. These requirements were created by applying the technique of use cases. Each requirement has been discussed and prioritised based on requests from UBiT. The most important requirements have been incorporated into the design of the prototype. This focuses on modularity and it has been discussed how the external sources best can be integrated with the prototype. The prototype is implemented using a combination of programming languages. The differences between these languages have posed a challenge, and solutions to how these can be avoided are presented. The prototype has been tested according to an extensive test plan, and the results of these tests have been document and evaluated. Each of the design decisions have been evaluated and discussed, and suggestions on how these could have been improved are given. Finally, suggestions on how the functionality of the prototype can be extended are presented. The prototype created in this thesis allows for users, familiar or unfamiliar with the city and its transportation network, to locate a document and travel to the library holding it. It demonstrates how emerging technologies such as location awareness can contribute to increased use of library services.