Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mobile tourists in touch with nature

12.02.2004


Planning a visit to one of Europe’s remote nature reserves? An information system under development by the REGEO project will allow you to plan hiking routes in 3D from your PC or access local restaurants over a PDA once you have arrived.



Four different nature parks in Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany and Poland tested a geo-multimedia information system developed by IST project REGEO, based on mainly four components that can work independently.

The Web application is based on the integration of the open source ZOPE application server and the open source ’Minnesota map server’, a widespread tool for Web map creation. The application requests data from the virtual geo-multimedia database. It reads Geography Markup Language (GML) from the database and creates an internal representation for the ZOPE content management system (CMS) that can be presented in a browser over the Web. The CMS contains a 3D viewer that displays selected features like hiking tours draped over the virtual terrain model, as well as a 2D map viewer. A German language prototype is currently available using data from the Thayatal National Park in Austria, with an English prototype due in the coming weeks.


Another component, the Virtual Geo-Multimedia Database and Exchange Framework, enables customers to store, retrieve and share all kinds of geo-referenced multimedia content. Through the use of the open interface standard tourism boards, nature park management and regional economic bodies in eco-tourism can easily integrate the Geo-Multimedia Infrastructure in their domain specific applications like tourist information systems. The infrastructure offers a set of Web service functions for searching and retrieving geo-referenced multimedia objects. Data can be uploaded into the system either by using a separate Web service offering an import facility or using the built-in transaction protocol.

Another aspect is mobility. The project uses CD-ROMs to store multimedia content not transmitted over the Net such as virtual over flights and 3D models. REGEO has also planned that information stored on PDAs can be updated via Internet-connected PCs or from terminal stations in national parks, a useful feature in remote areas where UMTS/GPRS is not really available.

The fourth element uses the latest visualisation techniques used to create virtual 3D worlds visible in a 3D viewer in the shockwave format. This includes techniques such as the fusion of satellite images of different resolutions, draping of digital elevation models with natural texture (i.e. aerial images) or with artificial texture (i.e. computer generated 3D objects).

Potential benefits for tourism
As the showcase for the REGEO project, the Tourist Geo Information portal provides access to distributed databases holding all kinds of geo-referenced data via open interfaces. Local authorities, often in rural areas lacking sophisticated information architecture, may benefit from this system by using distributed data sources and edit the content over the Internet using the latest Web technologies.

REGEO is also an ideal presentation platform for local enterprises such as hotels, restaurants, sports facilities and suppliers of local specialties, as they are directly connected with tourists both before and during their stay. Advanced ’anywhere-anytime’ accessibility will maximise holiday planning capabilities for tourists by offering up-to-date information on accommodation and daily activities. Nature reserves and travel agencies, meanwhile, can provide both extensively detailed and attractively presented information, allowing for heightened planning capabilities and increased appeal of destinations.

The tourist interviews conducted in summer 2003 - available in English, German, Czech and Polish, and accessible online as well as in the project’s test regions - examined what tourists’ need and want from a tourist information system. According to the results, REGEO should concentrate more on the Web and mobile applications than on the Info terminal and CD-ROM applications. Moreover, when asked whether they would be willing to pay for some useful products or services (such as the purchase of a CD about the holiday region or download of information from the Internet), one third of the respondents stated they would be willing to pay. Taking these results into consideration, REGEO is currently modifying its tourist information system into a viable commercial offering at the project’s conclusion later this year.

Contact:
Iris Frech
Albert-Ludwigs-Universitaet Freiburg
Abteilung Fernerkundung und Landschaftsinformationssysteme
Fahnenbergplatz
D-79085 Freiburg
Germany
Tel: +49-761-2038645
Fax: +49-761-2033701
Email: iris.frech@felis.uni-freiburg.de

Tara Morris | IST results
Further information:
http://istresults.cordis.lu/index.cfm?section=news&tpl=article&BrowsingType=Features&ID=61547
http://www.regeo.org

More articles from Communications Media:

nachricht New cruise ship “Mein Schiff 1” features Fraunhofer 3D sound on board
05.09.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Digitale Medientechnologie IDMT

nachricht Small enclosure, big sound, clear speech
31.08.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Digitale Medientechnologie IDMT

All articles from Communications Media >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The hidden structure of the periodic system

The well-known representation of chemical elements is just one example of how objects can be arranged and classified

The periodic table of elements that most chemistry books depict is only one special case. This tabular overview of the chemical elements, which goes back to...

Im Focus: MPSD team discovers light-induced ferroelectricity in strontium titanate

Light can be used not only to measure materials’ properties, but also to change them. Especially interesting are those cases in which the function of a material can be modified, such as its ability to conduct electricity or to store information in its magnetic state. A team led by Andrea Cavalleri from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg used terahertz frequency light pulses to transform a non-ferroelectric material into a ferroelectric one.

Ferroelectricity is a state in which the constituent lattice “looks” in one specific direction, forming a macroscopic electrical polarisation. The ability to...

Im Focus: Determining the Earth’s gravity field more accurately than ever before

Researchers at TU Graz calculate the most accurate gravity field determination of the Earth using 1.16 billion satellite measurements. This yields valuable knowledge for climate research.

The Earth’s gravity fluctuates from place to place. Geodesists use this phenomenon to observe geodynamic and climatological processes. Using...

Im Focus: Tube anemone has the largest animal mitochondrial genome ever sequenced

Discovery by Brazilian and US researchers could change the classification of two species, which appear more akin to jellyfish than was thought.

The tube anemone Isarachnanthus nocturnus is only 15 cm long but has the largest mitochondrial genome of any animal sequenced to date, with 80,923 base pairs....

Im Focus: Tiny light box opens new doors into the nanoworld

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have discovered a completely new way of capturing, amplifying and linking light to matter at the nanolevel. Using a tiny box, built from stacked atomically thin material, they have succeeded in creating a type of feedback loop in which light and matter become one. The discovery, which was recently published in Nature Nanotechnology, opens up new possibilities in the world of nanophotonics.

Photonics is concerned with various means of using light. Fibre-optic communication is an example of photonics, as is the technology behind photodetectors and...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Novel communications architecture for future ultra-high speed wireless networks

17.06.2019 | Information Technology

Climate Change in West Africa

17.06.2019 | Earth Sciences

Robotic fish to replace animal testing

17.06.2019 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>