Mobile Meadowlands Environmental Guide
The NJMC staff use wireless devices to collect data as they move around the District. Similarly, visitors, scientists, students and eco-tourists also move around on their own collecting scientific data, or just walk around looking at birds and taking pictures. Visitors to the District have also the possibility of taking a Commission guided tour of the Hackensack River where a guide points out the interesting aspects of the immediate landscape and wildlife.
This project is building a mobile communication infrastructure to enable an auto-guided environmental tour using the Internet and hand-held devices. This application will allow visitors to move around with a hand-held devise (maybe a cell phone or PDA) and historical and current information available for that specific location is delivered to them.
The information type will be adjusted according to the user's preferences; for example, a bird watcher may only be interested in bird types, their habits and the quality of the surrounding environment. A planner on the other hand, would be more interested in the historical land use data for a particular location and would want to see historical aerial photography or historical blue-prints of planned structures.
As in a museum audio-guide system, the relevant information is identified and streamed
based on the person's location, preference and expertise. Unlike the museum audio-guided tour however, the information is not restricted to audio but
will also include multimedia, images/pictures, maps and textual narratives. In addition, through what is called a "location-specific environmental
information blogging"; users can interactively enter new data from a location into the system for the future sharing of information. The system will
also support data "pull", allowing queries by users of different levels and expertise.