A conceptual framework for location-based and mobile social applications

Jones, Q., Grandhi, S., Terveen, L., and Whittaker, S., (2004) "People-To-People-to-Geographical-Places: The P3 Framework for Location-Based Community Systems". Journal of Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 13 (4), pp. 249-282. The article describes an interesting conceptual framework of mobile social and location-based applications (already blogged somewhere here but I wanted to keep track of the whole model). Some excerpts:

Our proposal of P3-Systems – people-to-people-to-geographic-place – characterizes the class of systems as essentially community systems (people-to-people) that are tightly organized around and utilize the notion of geographic place. (...) The first dimension distinguishes People-Centered techniques from Place-Centered techniques.People-Centered techniques use location information to support interpersonal awareness, enable informal communication, and identify previously unknown affinities between users. Place-Centered techniques link virtual spaces to physical locations, using social information to aid place-based navigation and decision making. Both People-Centered and Place-Centered techniques can be subdivided, each along a different dimension. Some People-Centered techniques use absolute user locations, while others use relative location or proximity between users. The difference here is between applications that tell users where their buddies are and those that only tell users which buddies are close by. (...) The final dimension is an extension of the standard CSCW distinction between synchronous and asynchronous interaction.

Why do I blog this? because it slightly fits with the review of location-awareness applications I did when writing the chapter about that in my dissertation. I find relevant the dimensions described here: people/place, synchronous/asynchronous, absolute/relative location. However, I would add fourth dimension: active/inactive: with some systems the users are automatically aware of others' whereabouts and with other application they have to be more active (sending their position or asking to get the others').