Activities for realization of interoperability of
location based services using SVG

KDDI R&D Laboratories Internet Applications Laboratory
Satoru Takagi

Realization of interoperability has been a major problem of geographic information systems for many years. In order to solve this problem, KDDI R&D Laboratories has been developing a map distribution system called JaMaPS since 1996. The architecture prepared by JaMaPS differs from conventional types.

Outline of JaMaPS:
JaMaPS is designed based on the architecture of WWW. It arranges various maps on WWW servers.  A map is figurized geographic information.  For example, those map contents are the SVG contents of a road map, a weather bulletin, traffic information, etc.  A client downloads maps from WWW servers, and overlays and displays them.  This simple technique makes it possible to distribute geographic information as parts.  And they are combinable.  Therefore, the interoperability of a geographic information system is realizable. 
The feature of WWW which we especially thought as important is that WWW distributes visible presentation data rather than informational structures or meanings. In order to actually offer an interoperable system, it is a major premise that the system is widely used.  WWW offers system flexibility, and ease of understanding by the distribution of presentation data.  We thought that this feature led to the rapid growth of WWW.  Therefore, we also provided this feature to JaMaPS.
One of the typical presentations of geographical information is a map. We thought that the problem could be solved without being highly dependent on the standardization of complicated and difficult geographic information by distributing a map, instead of geographic information.  Since vector graphics format was suitable for map distribution, we initially used PostScript.

Standardization activities:
Then, in response to the standardization activities of SVG, we continued the development of JaMaPS based on SVG. In order to overlay maps, information which enables the arrangement of each map on geographic space was necessary to be added.  The information necessary to achieve map overlaying are the description of the spacial reference system which specifies geographic space, and transformation parameters for projecting a map on the geographic coordinate system.  SVG is able to describe arbitrary transformation parameters.  Therefore, the lone information which needs to be referred to from the standardization activities of geographic information is the description method of a spacial reference system.  The result of GML of OGC can be applied for this description.
As mentioned above, resources for the realization of the architecture of JaMaPS was prepared by 2001.  Then, in order to reflect JaMaPS' architecture in SVG1.1, we participated in standardization activities.  Consequently, use of the architecture of JaMaPS was attained in SVG1.1.

Location based services:
Our company offers several mobile information services, represented by the cellular phone.  Among these mobile information services, location based service is expected to be one of the most important services.  Therefore, we are participating in standardization activities in order to introduce SVG1.1 specifications into the JIS (Japan Industrial Standard) of location based services in Japan. Standardization members are considering extension of point information caled POI.  POI is a framework of position information and its attributes. Standardization members believe that this is indispensable information for location based services. POI is compatible with SVG1.1, and is examined as a specification which can be displayed as SVG.
Based on our experience, we believe that SVG1.1 is the most realistic and optimal format to realize interoperability of geographic information systems.
In addition, another report will be presented by Tanaka of KDDI R&D Laboratories regarding experiments of location based services using SVG.
Furthermore, Kobayashi of KDDI R&D Laboratories will present a report on a general-purpose binary coding system for XML, which was initially developed for efficient transmission of SVG.