As smartphones are gaining more and more popularity every user can access to the Internet continuously. GPS enabled devices can determine positions but only outdoors. However, most of these devices have WiFi interface which can be used for indoor positioning.
If user position can be determined even indoor, then social applications can be extended by location based services. The aim of this thesis is to extend an open source indoor position system (Redpin) with some location based social network services.
Our primarily goal is to group users into communication channels based on their indoor locations. This can be achieved by dynamically created conferencing chat rooms based on location tags, e.g., rooms. I have used the XMPP protocol standard to support instant and group messaging.
Another objective of the thesis work is to integrate location information into an already existing presence and instant messaging service. I have used Google Talk, which also uses XMPP, for instance, person-to-person messaging and extended Google Talk’s presence information with location tags. This way, our friend’s status in GTalk carries not only their presence but their location in our system, too.
Yet another feature we identified was to organize chat rooms into hierarchy, i.e., to establish a container relationships between chatrooms. This way, users in the same building, floor, corridor or room can easily chat with each other, based on their location independent of their social relationships. Subscription and publishing to these chatroom hierarchies are fine controlled in the client application. Due to the fact that the client uses XMPP for communication this can be good news for future integration plans to other chat-like social services.