Nowadays, it is hard to imagine our everyday life without ‘location-based services’ (LBS) like Google Maps and many others. Whether as smartphone apps with location reference or as navigation systems in cars – LBS accompany us everywhere. So far there is surprisingly little research concerning the market for LBS: Which providers of these services are currently the main players in the market? In which sectors and locations are LBS used? What functions do LBS fulfil (for providers and users)? Which user groups do they address? And finally: Which technologies are used?
Methodology: Quantitative Content Analysis
The KomMa team has been investigating these and other questions in a market exploration study since 2018. Per Ole Uphaus, Björn Beringer and Harald Rau, as well as the two former team members Kristoph Siemens and Annika Ehlers, first examined relevant newsletters specialising in current technologies over a defined period of time and collected information on the location-based services mentioned in them. Subsequently, for all these services, the first ten entries in each case that resulted from a search engine query were examined in more detail using a quantitative content analysis.
With this method, the KomMa team was able to gain completely new insights into the location-based services market. For example, it was shown that the majority of the services examined are primarily designed for advertising and/or so-called ‘analytics’ functions. Another surprising result was that there seems to be a clear trend towards an increased use of indoor LBS, which even seemed to dominate the LBS market during the study period.
Key Findings on the Location Based Services Market
The key findings from this market exploration study, titled ‘Location-based services – the market: success factors and emerging trends from an exploratory approach’ (DOI: 10.1080/17489725.2020.1868587 ), have been published in the Journal of LBS. The Journal of LBS is a world-leading scientific journal in this field, publishing current research results from all areas of location-based research and related technologies. Per Ole Uphaus and Björn Beringer were previously able to meet the journal’s editor Georg Gartner already in 2019 at the 15th International Conference on Location Based Services in Vienna. There, they were able to present their paper ‘Barriers seen by potential local Providers of Applications using Location-Based Services’ (DOI: 10.34726/lbs2019.36 ).
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