Recent studies have highlighted that, on average, we spend approximately 90% of our time indoors, often in unfamiliar environments. Being able to seamlessly locate people or objects within indoor AND outdoor spaces could enable a number of new Location-Based Services (LBS) of significant economic relevance. In some cases, such as in modern hospitals and health care centres, efficient and accurate ‘asset’ tracking and management (be this medical staff, patients, visitors, equipment etc.) is extremely important in economic as well as in social terms.
Such location services require having access to Geographic Information (GI) of outdoor and ‘most notably’ indoor spaces. While outdoor data can be easily accessed as Open Data (OD), a notable example being OpenStreetMap (OSM), the availability of Geographical Information of indoor spaces is not available on a large scale as Open Data. In case of publicly accessible buildings, such as hospitals, stations, airports, shopping malls and public offices, having access to geographical data of indoor spaces, and particularly as Open Data, could allow new business activities and bring a number of social benefits.
i-locate tries to bridges this gap through the creation of innovative business based on indoor and outdoor localisation of people and objects. To this extent, i-locate is engineered to address very clear market requirements emerging from a core of specialised SMEs, targeting the following objectives:
- To create a public geoportal, the so-called ‘virtual hub’, that will collect, make discoverable and provide access to indoor geographical information of publicly accessible buildings as Open Data.
- To extend current open standards to support indoor/outdoor LBS based on sound privacy and security policies, for the highest protection of personal/critical data.
- To develop an open source ‘toolkit’ for LBS supporting integrated indoor-outdoor asset and people as well as their tracking and routing based on the aforementioned open standard protocols.
- To develop few clients for mobile devices (App) accessing the toolkit’s services via the aforementioned open standard protocols.
- To test for more than one year- the ‘virtual hub’ and the ‘toolkit’ in the context of public health, private and public services with the involvement of real users and stakeholders within 13 pilots sites in 8 EU countries.
- To promote a number of openness and awareness-rising activities targeted at maximising the impact of the project within the widest community of stakeholders through series of conferences, workshops, training actions.
- To stimulate innovation and business activities around indoor Geographic Information through direct access to smeSpire, the largest network of geo-ICT SMEs in Europe, to ensure that the relevant critical mass is created around the results of i-locate and to foster development of innovative services.
The consortium gathers 24 partners, including technical developers, final users and technical partners providing to final users as well as other partners in charge of horizontal activities such as definition of business models, exploitation and dissemination activities.