The Benefits of Geo-Tagging and Microblogging in m-Learning: a Use Case

MindTrek ’09¬†Proceedings of the 13th International MindTrek Conference: Everyday Life in the Ubiquitous Era


Christian SafranGraz University of Technology,Graz, Austria

Victor Manuel Garcia-BarriosGraz University of Technology, Graz, Austria

Martin EbnerGraz University of Technology, Graz, Austria

Christian et al. develop a mobile application named TUGeoWiki, which combines the ideas of wiki’s, geo-tagging, and m-learning. The idea is to make it convenient for students to collaborate in areas of study where geo-located data is considered to be important. Using a wiki allowed them to keep the maintenance costs low, and the advantage of mobile devices is that it allows on-site learning.

TUGeoWiki is based on MediaWiki. The authors use the special pages feature for creating location-based entries and augmenting entries with file uploads. They also make use of a mapping API to provide additional metadata on these entries. Their desire is for students to use TUGeoWiki for process-oriented and task-based learning on the desktop application, and to allow real-time of geo-tagged images on the mobile application.

It’s inconvenient to fully edit a wiki page on ¬†mobile device, so the authors promote the use of micropages which, similar to Twitter, is used for sharing short messages which should be revised at a later time on a desktop application in a collaborative manner. Moreover, TUGeoWiki utilizes the Twitter API for pulling special posts by students from Twitter, and pushing these posts onto TUGeoWiki.

TUGeoWiki is essentially a mashup of MediaWiki, geo-tagging, and Twitter. It’s a smart idea, because college students today are very comfortable using their mobile phones to take pictures and post these pictures on Twitter or Facebook. Why not encourage them to practice the same thing in their respective fields, where doing so can facilitate learning? This paper does not report on any experimental results however, but explains the details of their TUGeoWiki project.

About Martin Brown

Martin is a Ph.D. student in Computer Science. He has earned his M.S. in Software Engineering and B.S. in Computer and Information Sciences at Florida A&M University. He has interned with Sun Microsystems and Medtronic. Martin is one of the instructors for Mobile Programming with Android.