GeoBob is a development platform that enables the design and development of location-based applications for a wide variety of uses on mobile devices like iPhone and Android phones. The technology behind the GeoBob platform is based on a prototype project that accomplished the design, development, and implementation of an educational mobile game. A team at USU created a location-based educational game for hand-held GPS devices to teach visitors about the American West Heritage Center (AWHC) located in Logan, Utah. The game contains three story lines that can be played one at a time. The storylines follow a day in the life of a pioneer girl, a Native American boy, and a trapper. Playing these games give the visitors the opportunities to not only explore the grounds of the AWHC but to also experience what life was like for these three characters.
GeoBob is a web-based interface that allows users to input content for each application. No programming experience is required to create an application for the mobile devices. After the content is submitted in the template on the website, the USU team compiles it into an application for the mobile device. Once the application is created, the application can then be installed on the iPhone or Android phone. The application supports information such as, text, images, audio files, and video. The location of the user and the use of the application will determine if the application has streaming information via WIFI or self-contained information. If the user's location is somewhere that does not have WIFI (e.g., Yellowstone National Park), then the data will be self-contained in the application.
As GeoBob is further developed and functionality is added, the IDIAS team aims to make it possible for anyone to design and develop his/her own mobile application. An objective of GeoBob is to create a development platform that is easy to use and functionally robust enough to create many different types of mobile applications. For example, a mother may build a mobile scavenger hunt application for her son's birthday party or a university professor may build an educational mobile application. GeoBob will open the door for mobile application development to the general public.