A context aware mobile GIS is being implemented for a current Italian national
research project, which has the aim to exploit informative and geomatics
for exploring archaeological contexts. This project is carried out by the
di Geomatica of Politecnico di Milano/Polo Regionale di Como and CEFRIEL (ICT Center
of Excellence For Research, Innovation, Education and industrial Labs partnership).
In particular, the mobile GIS we are talking about is thought for the context of
Comum Oppidum, a pre-roman archaeological site within the Italian Regional Park of
Spina Verde, near the Como town (Northern Italy).
It is a client-server web application running within a Tomcat servlet container. It
is composed by three parts: a proper mobile GIS, a context-aware platform and a
servlet filter which manages and integrates them.
The mobile GIS is a servlet implemented with Java Mapscript, generates XHTML web
coming from a PostgreSQL/PostGIS DBMS.
The context-aware platform adapts the service according to user position, objects of
interest localisation (location server), used devices, contrast/brilliance and
The servlet filter has been thought to give these properties to the mobile GIS. At
the moment, only two of them are being integrated in the mobile GIS; they are the
user position and the objects of interest real-time visualisations. The other ones
will be treated in future developments of the project.
The user position real-time visualisation is made by drawing on the map the
coordinates of the user, coming from a GPS receiver associated to the handled device
which the user accesses the mobile GIS by. The localisation of objects of interest
made by RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification) targets, which send the coordinates
other information of these objects to the application.
In order to correctly draw the GPS user position in the map, the geographic
system is WGS84 now. However, in a future version of the application it will be
replaced by the Italian Gauss-Boaga system and the GPS position will be drawn on the
map after an on-the-fly conversion from WGS84 system, provided by a service that
be implemented expressly.
At the moment, the context aware mobile GIS has basic map browsing and feature query
functionalities, table of contents (HTML legend), reference map, scalebar and – we
said – manages data coming from GPS receiver and RFID targets.
Other functionalities, like query by attribute and zoom by rectangle, will be added
in the next months.