Glossary definition of Location Based Service

Also known as: LBS

Location Based Services (LBS) are infomation services for mobile devices that are specific to a certain area. Location Based Services have grown as of late as the ability for handset users to accurately pinpoint their position has improved. They are usually an opt-in service that sends information via e-mail or SMS to subscribers based on their location.

Initially an LBS was provided on a subscription basis, where the user notifies the service of their location manually and is notified by commercial and informational resources for a limited time period. These evolved to include location information from the requesting handset, garnered from the strengths of nearby base stations, which allowed the creation of individualised services such as driving instructions to a destination from here or a location based service for finding nearby pizza delivery services (for example).

With the growing inclusion of GPS in phones, location data is constantly available rather than only on demand. This allows an event-driven model to be applied to location based services, whereby mobile device users are pushed information when they enter certain zones instead of having to request it. This could allow an automatic guide to a city, describing surroundings and notable shops. Visitors to a city could leave virtual notes in certain areas, or even reviews of various restaurants that would be offered to patrons as they enter. Obviously the commercial potential is enormous.

A good study on Location Based Advertising and Services, which draws from a trial LBS over two sites, is available from this site.