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2013 6th International Conference on Intelligent Networks and Intelligent Systems

An Investigation on GIS Technology for Android Embedded System

Jingsong Ge, Feng Wang* ,Hui Deng,
Computer Technology Application Key Lab of Yunnan Province
Kunming University of Science and Technology
Kunming, China
Email :{ gejingsong, wangfeng, denghui}@cnlab.net
AbstractWith the continuous development of mobile
communication technology, wireless internet technology and
mobile terminal technology, geographic space information
have already widely applied to various fields in our daily life.
The traditional Geographic Information System (GIS) is
developing to the mobile terminal, the popularity of Android
embedded system provide a excellent platform for the
development of GIS. This paper gives an investigation of recent
developments in GIS and introduces the key technology used in
reality. And it also presents the ongoing researches and
applications on GIS used in Android embedded system, like
using GIS as Location Based Service (LBS), using GIS in
SuperMap, GPS navigation and Mobile video.

This paper gives an investigation of GIS Technology on

Android embedded OS. Section  introduces Mobile
database technology, mobile positioning technology,
wireless network technology. And in section , it introduces
the applications of GIS on Android Embedded System which
is developing. In section  give some discussions about the
challenge for the GIS in the Android embedded development
.Then section V gives some opinions about the prospect and
trend on GIS technology for Android embedded system on
future work.

wireless network;

A. Mobile database technology

GIS for Android embedded system must support multiple
users effectively access network with various conditions,
complete move query and map display and transaction
processing. Through the data replication, caching technology
or data broadcasting technology, mobile users can access the
required data even under the condition of a breakout and
make GIS achieve high reliability. Mobile database should
use suitable for organization model of spatial data and
attribute data for the mobile terminals and solve the problem
about the fusion of multi-source data, the collaborative work
of distributed spatial database, and multi-user concurrent
access and so on[11]. If the database of GIS is big enough
and content wide enough, users won't get lost at any place of
the world with the help of mobile terminals. Geographical
spatial data server is the key of Mobile database, in addition
the quality of information sources is also important for
mobile location services [1, 8].







With the development of mobile communication

technology, portable devices such as smartphones, tablets pc,
have been widely used in our daily life. In this background,
GIS mobile service has achieved great progress. In 2007,
Google launched a free and open source Android OS based
on Linux embedded system. The Android operating system
provides a complete framework for GIS development, which
portability and stability of the system provides a convenient
condition for GIS in the mobile terminal [13, 14].
The GIS on Android embedded OS, which is based on a
mobile computing environment, the condition of limited
processing power of mobile terminals and provide moved,
distributed, random mobile GIS geographic information
service, is a collection of GIS, GPS, mobile communication
(GSM/GPRS/CDMA) technology in the integration of the
system. It uses GPS to locate and track and uses mobile
devices to complete data acquisition with the help of mobile
communication technology to complete transmission of
graphics, text, sound etc data. In the end, through the GIS
manage and analysis spatial data [9, 16].
Through the Android operating system, people can break
through use restrictions on personal GIS and freely access to
personalized geographic information. GIS on Android
embedded is based on geographic information, which
integrates social, economic, cultural and other aspects of
information to realize the dynamic renewal of information

B. Mobile positioning technology

Mobile positioning technology use wireless mobile
communication network to measure some parameters with
the received radio waves. According to the specific
algorithm to precisely measure a mobile terminal or personal
in a certain time of the geographic location, in order to
provide location information services for mobile terminal
users, or for real-time monitoring and tracking. Mobile
positioning technology can be divided into the location
technology based on network and the terminal technology.
The former refers to a wireless network based on
measurement data to calculated mobile terminal location,
including the Cell-ID, TOA, TDOA, E - OTD, etc [24]. This
approach relies on the mobile terminal's ability to get signals
from wireless networks and can work well in the base station

*Corresponding Author: FengWang, wangfeng@cnlab.net

978-1-4799-2809-5/13 $31.00
$26.00 2013 IEEE
DOI 10.1109/ICINIS.2013.87



the project development, to provide professional GIS

application module for the user, to provide mature industry
application source code and address [4, 5].

which populated area, but it is difficult to achieve positioning

in the base station which sparse area. Based on the terminal
positioning technology, which including GPS and AGPS,
calculated own location by mobile terminal. Due to satellite
signals restrictions, GPS can't get a signal or the signal is too
weak to difficult to pinpoint.

B. Location based Service

Location based Service (LBS) obtain the position
information of mobile terminal users (geographic
coordinates or geodetic coordinate) by radio communication
network of telecom operators (such as GSM, CDMA) or
external positioning means (e.g., GPS)[17].With the support
of GIS electronic map platform, it provides users with the
corresponding location information service that is a valueadded service. With unknown business, mobile phone users
can easily get themselves or others current position, or from
A to B how to walk, and can easily query the information of
its nearby places [1, 27].
Overall, LBS is a combination of mobile communication
network and computer network .Through the gateway to
realize interaction between the two networks. Mobile
terminal send out mobile communication network signal
through the gateway to LBS service platform. Service
platform based on user requests and user current location for
processing, and the results returned to the user through the
gateway [5, 6]

C. Wireless network technology

In the field of mobile communications, wireless access
technology [3, 15] is mainly divided into two categories:
One is based on the digital cellular mobile phone network
access technology. Another is based on local area network
access technology, such as Bluetooth, WIFI, etc. Wireless
network get rid of the cable restraint and make anytime,
anywhere wireless access a reality. Bandwidth and speed has
always been a bottleneck restricting the development of
wireless communications.
Future wireless communication aims to achieve high
spectral efficiency, low-cost for wireless transmission
network. Under the condition of moving at high speed to
transfer a large number of geographical data and attribute
data including map and text between client and server, and
achieve real-time, two-way wireless communication of
spatial data, and achieve wireless network and mobile
Internet seamless access. The development of the next
generation of wireless communication technology and
construction of 3G or 4G network will provide the technical
support for the Android embedded systems implementation
and operation of GIS [20].

C. Mobile video GIS system

In order to adapt to today's network communication
technology, especially the WIFI and 3G network
popularization, mobile video GIS system make use of
advancing video technology and network transmission
technology that combined with GIS technology to provide
mobile users for more clear and high quality of real-time
video communications and the support of powerful spatial
query and analysis ability, enhancing the user experience. It
is composed of mobile terminals, wireless communication,
web server, and based on GIS video receiving terminal of
several main parts [21, 29].
Mobile terminal by Android phone built-in GPS chip via
satellite positioning to get current GPS coordinates
(longitude and latitude) [22], then implement real-time
synchronization coding together with captured video with the
phone, mobile phone through a wireless communication
network sent to the video receiving terminal [8,19]. Video
receiving terminal receives the data sent by mobile terminal,
after decoding, displaying video data in real-time at the same
time matching the GPS coordinates to the coordinates on the
map, then dynamically displays the current position of the
mobile terminal. In addition, both the video mobile terminal
and the video receiving terminal can inquiry on the maps and
spatial analysis operations.


A. SuperMap
SuperMapiMobile for Android based on cross-platform
GIS kernel, which combined with Android embedded
terminal system, provide the map operation, data acquisition,
map editor, and integration professional GIS application
function. At the same time, It can provide multi-source map
in the terminal application portfolio and project data
browsing, achieve space information query and analysis [23].
SuperMapiMobile for Android is a development platform
which designed to build a professional mobile GIS
application system, it can meet the practical requirements of
application systems the comprehensive functions and
The flexible and alternative of data access, can be used
with PC, server products directly interoperable data;
Powerful offline application support;
Full support for cloud service solutions;
Full integration of navigation and GIS;
Flexible and rapid application customization;
SuperMap GIS software application system mainly apply
to land and resources ,e-government ,public services,
property management, statistics, military and public security
or other fields ,SuperMap GIS can directly develop GIS
application system for the end user[3,27]. SuperMap GIS can
also collaborate with developers and system integrators to
provide services for end users. With developers and system
integrators cooperation method includes: directly involved in

D. GPS navigation
The basic principle of GPS navigation system is to
measure the distance between the known position of satellite
and the user receiver, and then the location of the receiver
can be know by integrated satellite data. To achieve this
purpose, the position of the satellite can be found in the
satellite ephemeris according to the spaceborne time


laws and regulations missing on these issues as well as lack

of imprecision is one of the reasons, but more important is
the question of the application itself. How to strictly process
and manage data for developers and operators is a key

The basic principle of GPS positioning is based on the

satellite instantaneous position of the high-speed movement
as known count data, adopt the method of spatial distance
resection, and then determine the specific location. As
shown, it is assumed that t always stay placed the GPS
receiver in the ground station, the time deltat which GPS
signal reaches the receiver can be determined[10, 30].
GIS is closely related to GPS technology, GIS can
provide great help for GPS [10]. First of all, the GPS data
and the analysis of the data need GIS to collecting, sorting
and provide. If not the GIS, and GPS only, then the GPS was
only an empty shell, we can only watch, but cant analysis.
Second, GPS is also a way to promote the development of
GIS. In the office and daily life, more and more people pay
attention from desktop to mobile intelligent terminals, and
then location service is extremely important. With the
emerging of the GPS on mobile intelligent terminal, only
location information is clearly not enough. Sometimes, we
can't get the information we want, so we need to analyze the
data to come to the conclusion that we want something and
the data [2, 26].Then the GIS show its importance to provide
analysis for the GPS application to make its function for
popularization. At this moment, GPS turned out to be what
we want, and provide effective information for us.




GIS on Android embedded is product of common

development and progress (development of computer
technology, geographic information system technology,
mobile positioning technology, wireless data communication
technology and mobile receiving equipment) [12]. With the
development and perfection of mobile computed, GIS for
Android embedded in mobile computing environment will
all-round development, its trend of development are the
To realize standardization of the mobile GIS.
To further improve and perfect the triangulation in
aerial survey technology. Triangulation can
eliminate the blind spot of the GPS, and can realize
automatic selection and matching of control points.
To develop efficient automatic extraction of space
entity and image processing algorithm, to realize
quickly handle, transport, display, make full use of
vast amounts of high resolution space data.
To reduce the production cost of the mobile GIS
equipment, speed up the popularization of GIS on
Android embedded.
To design positioning accuracy is more higher and
receive information is more sensing devices, so as to
improve the positioning accuracy of spatial
information, and change the monotonicity of mobile
GIS data show, make the image on the display space
can also query the relevant attribute data.
To develop a rapid recharge, convenience, nimble,
lasting power equipment and low energy
consumption of the algorithm.



A. Technical problem
Although GIS has made some achievement in mobile
intelligent terminals, but compared with ESRI products
running on PC, its function and performance is obviously far
less than the former. This problem is derived from two
aspects. First, intelligent terminal operational performance
needs to be improved. Now, the main stream of intelligent
terminal processing performance is 1 ~ 2G.Although the
speed difference compared with that of the PC is not far, its
system architecture is obviously inferior to PC. So,
developers not only improve the operation performance of
the terminal, but also improve the running performance of
the system. Second, the problem is GIS software itself. For
example, Mobile database technology not only requires the
software and hardware to allow more data load, but also can
take a reasonable algorithm and data structure to implement
the data computing and storage [7, 28].



GIS is widely used in Android embedded platform, it

changes the traditional GIS model of development and meet
peoples demand for dynamic geographic information in the
information age. In conclusion, GIS application development
of based on Android platform make full use of the advantage
of the Android platform and the characteristics of its source.
When improving the system interactive and user experience,
it also reduces the cost of development and the universal
threshold for universal application.
This paper presents an investigation of ongoing research
GIS used on Android embedded OS. It elaborated on
relevant technical background that developing GIS needed in
the Android development platform. By listing some current
main applications, GIS can be seen in daily life and other
aspects of importance.

B. Personal information security

As more and more embedded GIS application runs on
Android terminals, more information security problems are
emerging and one of the most important and serious problem
is location information leakage [25]. When we are using the
software, net provider or software developers may have
leaked out your location information and you don't found it
.This information may include your daily schedule, as well
as the place you visit frequently. Criminals can use these
leaked information to commit a crime.
Certainly, more and more users have found those
problems. Even position information leaked cases have
occurred and the result is serious. Although the country's


We would like to thank all the authors of the literatures
which we surveyed for their hard work giving us a lot of
knowledge on GIS technology for Android embedded
system and their efforts are worthy of respecting. We
appreciate the support form National Natural Science
Foundation of China (61063027).We thank the members of
Yunnan Computer Technology Application Key Lab in
Kunming University of Science and Technology, their
assistance and support is of great help for me. And we are
also grateful to anonymous reviewers for you insights.

















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