Universitat de Girona (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Pages: 1089-1097
ISBN: 978-84-613-2953-3
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain
The work presented here is a follow-up of the "Interactive Guide" begun in 2007 following an invitation for funding for cooperative research and development projects in the fields of the humanities and social sciences at the University of Girona.

The objective of the initial project was to develop research that would explore the teaching possibilities of guides incorporating interactive content obtained from the global positioning systems (GPS) of the users (communication via satellite). This is an application based on the integration of the following components: Geographic Information Systems (GIS), GPS, educational resources and teaching activities in various formats (maps, video, audio, etc.), PDAs / Mobiles and the Internet.

The outcome of the initial work was the creation of a prototype guide applied to the city of Girona. Using the latest generation of PDAs, the users can follow the route indicated on a map displayed on the device while receiving certain information through it, as they move along a route through the city.

Guides of this type can be used to as an aid for visits in terms of providing information but they can also augment interaction by offering exercises or activities and can even be turned into creative tools.

The continuing advances in technology have enabled us to increase the quantity and quality of information that can be made available to users. This in turn allows us to give greater prominence to the users themselves by letting them intervene in expanding part of the content that is offered by the guide.

In this vein, our research group is focusing its activity on the preparation of a participatory environment via which the users can send comments related to their visit, photos taken during the journey or the outcomes of the activities on offer. This environment will be presented via a website, using a mash-up (a hybrid web application which creates new content from existing content), shown on a georeferenced map that the different users of the "Interactive Guide" may want to share. From the same webpage, registered users may view the journeys made and add links to it in their personal blogs, Facebook accounts, etc. On the other hand, any visitor could search for information by type of route, type of documentation, geographic location, etc. and could even give ratings to the contributions made by other users.

The final outcome could be the creation of virtual communities of users of "interactive guides" who are able to share the material they themselves have developed and allow them to interact among each other.
innovation, social networks, community, mobile devices.