Shanghai launches platform for location-based services
By Shi Jing in Shanghai | China Daily
Updated:Sept 20, 2018
The municipal government of Shanghai launched an integrated development and testing platform for location-based services on the China International Industry Fair, which will last five days from Wednesday.
The municipality's move is an attempt to make location-based services one of the building blocks of the information technology industry.
Initiated by Shanghai Jiao Tong University, the testing platform was jointly built by China Mobile Shanghai, Huawei Technologies Shanghai and Sobey, a Chengdu-based broadcast solutions provider.
Sobey will be the first user of this platform. It will test its video analysis tools to be used in video surveillance.
As China's Beidou navigation system has started its mapping for the 5G era, the testing platform will combine different positioning technologies like Bluetooth and cellular technologies.
This is to ensure location-based services, which can drive insight from data tied to a specific location where activities take place, are applied in various scenarios, said Gui Lin, a professor at the School of Electronic Information and Electrical Engineering at the university.
According to Gui, 15,000 square meters of indoor space and 1 square kilometer of outdoor space on the university campus will be devoted to the testing platform.
Over 10 million yuan ($1.5 million) went in as seed capital for the platform, the first of its kind in China.
"The location information of each person or device is unique and can't be falsified. In this sense, this information is more reliable. But so far, such information has not been used efficiently. Companies are, therefore, encouraged to come to test their applications or services on the platform to see how we can use location information in more scenarios," she said.
The most visible use of location-based services is navigation applications. According to market consultancy Analysys, the number of active smartphone navigation application users in China reached 465 million in June, up 3.95 percent from a month earlier.
Location-based services will become part of smart city infrastructure in the future that will see innovations like the internet of things, industrial networks and smart medical services.
The testing platform is one major feature of the spatial information industry exhibition area for this year's CIIF. Around 2,630 companies from 27 countries and regions are participating in the show, with the total exhibition area amounting to 280,000 square meters. The number of visitors will likely exceed 170,000.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the CIIF, which will close on Sunday. Rong Zhiqin, deputy director of the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Economy and Informatization, said the fair has helped Chinese manufacturing industries to innovate, upgrade and transform themselves.