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Journal of Applied Geodesy

Editor-in-Chief: Kahmen, Heribert / Rizos, Chris

CiteScore 2018: 1.61

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Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 1.064

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Volume 9, Issue 4


Ubiquitous User Localization in LBS – The Need for Implementing Ethical Thinking in Our Research Field

Guenther Retscher / Franz Obex
Published Online: 2016-01-21 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jag-2015-0015


Location-based Services (LBS) influence nowadays every individual’s life due to the emerging market penetration of smartphones and other mobile devices. For smartphone Apps localization technologies are developed ranging from GNSS beyond to other alternative ubiquitous positioning methods as well as the use of the in-built inertial sensors, such as accelerometers, gyroscopes, magnetometer, barometer, etc. Moreover, signals-of-opportunity which are not intended for positioning at the first sight but are receivable in many environments such as in buildings and public spaces are more and more utilized for positioning and navigation. The use of Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity) is a typical example. These technologies, however, have become very powerful tools as the enable to track an individual or even a group of users. Most technical researchers imply that it is mainly about further enhancing technologies and algorithms including the development of new advanced Apps to improve personal navigation and to deliver location oriented information just in time to a single LBS user or group of users. The authors claim that there is a need that ethical and political issues have to be addressed within our research community from the very beginning. Although there is a lot of research going on in developing algorithms to keep ones data and LBS search request in private, researchers can no longer keep their credibility without cooperating with ethical experts or an ethical committee. In a study called InKoPoMoVer (Cooperative Positioning for Real-time User Assistance and Guidance at Multi-modal Public Transit Junctions) a cooperation with social scientists was initiated for the first time at the Vienna University of Technology, Austria, in this context. The major aims of this study in relation to ethical questions are addressed in this paper.

Keywords: LBS, Localization Apps; Privacy; Ethical Thinking; Values and Norms; Ethical Committee


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About the article

Received: 2015-10-06

Accepted: 2015-10-19

Published Online: 2016-01-21

Published in Print: 2015-12-01

Citation Information: Journal of Applied Geodesy, Volume 9, Issue 4, Pages 264–278, ISSN (Online) 1862-9024, ISSN (Print) 1862-9016, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jag-2015-0015.

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