GPS guided tour on a PDA

Miguel Campoy Ederra, telecommunications engineer from Pamplona, has presented his graduate thesis on an application which enables the following of a GPS-technology guided tour on a PDA. That is, thanks to geographical positioning using satellite technology (GPS), this application enables the user to to visit a specific space and, therein, reproduce specific images and call up other information about each space visited.

For his thesis, Miguel Campoy has chosen the Arrosadía university campus itself as the space and, more specifically, its vegetation. As is well known, the Navarre Public University campus has more than a hundred varieties of plants, trees and bushes, as landscaped by Navarre Government engineer Daniel Rodés Navarro. The positioning and planting of this vegetation was not carried out randomly, as has happened in the rest of the campus but has followed a thought-out plan of meticulous landscape. Here landscaping has aimed at showing the architectural values of the campus at its best and, at the same time, offering a variety of plants to the eye of both the interested passer-by and the botany aficionado.

In the specific application developed by Miguel Campoy, as one passes from one point of the campus to another, information regarding the type of garden and vegetation in that zone appears on the PDA screen, including data on the specific plant species to be seen there. The PDA has this information for all points on the campus stored in its memory and, depending on the co-ordinates at which the user has the device, the corresponding information will appear on the screen. The information about the position of the PDA and its user is generated via satellite, through GPS.

For tourist sights

Miguel Campoy, who has developed this application over the past year, explains that the application requires 150 kb capacity and that the PDA which he has worked with had a 64 Mb memory. In any case, depending on the resolution desired, these figures can vary. Moreover, he says, given current developments in wireless technology applications, the PDAs in question in a specific zone like Arrosadía do not need to be powerful, as they can act as terminals linked to a central computer which has all the information stored.

Miguel Campoy argues that the application could be of great use for tourist sightseeing, visits and such like. A person with a PDA (either hired or their own) may take a tour knowing, at each moment, any of the details of the area they are in or passing through. Through already existing technical procedures, the PDA could even automatically load the relevant information on arriving at a point where this possibility has been installed. On leaving this point, the technology itself downloads the information from the PDA.

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