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Last modified: March 10, 2001
Point of Interest Exchange Language Specification (POIX)

[March 10, 2001] The Point of Interest Exchange Language Specification is documented in a NOTE submitted by ACCESS Co., Ltd., TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, SHARP CORPORATION, Aplix Corporation, and NEC Corporation to the W3C. The proposal was created in cooperation with the POI Working Group in MOSTEC (MObile Information Standard TEchnical Committee).

Specification abstract: "The Internet is rapidly growing toward wireless and mobile environment beyond the wired world. Nowadays, various types of mobile devices including PDAs and car navigation systems can access to the Internet. These devices are required to exchange the location-related information such as position data on the map. The 'POIX' proposed here defines a general-purpose specification language for describing location information, which is an application of XML (Extensible Markup Language). POIX is a common baseline for exchanging location data via e-mail and embedding location data in HTML and XML documents. This specification can be used by mobile device developers, location-related service providers, and server software developers."

Background and description: "At present, methods of representing locations differ according to the country, region, and organization, because different geodetic or angle units are used. POIX is intended in its language specification to provide capability of defining geodetic or coordinate system specifications with flexibility. In actual use, however, it is necessary to standardize on these specifications and terminology among users. This document first covers the Language Specification, followed by the Operational Specification. For geodetic and angle units, international standardization is under way; once they are decided and come into widespread use, multiple location notations defined in the operational specification will be standardized, so that POIX will assume a single location notation. POIX has been created for the purpose of exchanging location-related information over the Internet. At present, many services utilizing location-related information are available; and the use of POIX enables exchanging of location-related information among those services. In addition to realizing the exchange of location-related information among the different services, it has been designed to implement sufficient functions for a terminal connected directly to the Internet to make reference to the POIX-described information... POIX was created by the POI Working Group among the MOSTEC and examined by all the members of the MOSTEC. Experts and specialists in the field of mobile technology as a whole, including car navigation systems, digital maps, and personal digital assistants (PDAs), participated as the members in the examination and functional verification."

From the W3C staff comment: "An interesting aspect of the proposal is that it is capable to describe not only specific location information, such as latitude and longitude, but also various supplemental information about the target location such as route to the target location and contact information for the target location. Such supplemental information might be useful for some applications, such as car navigation systems, but there will be other applications which only need specific location information. In this respect, it might be useful to modularize the POIX language so that applications can use appropriate modules they need. Such modularization will make it easier to combine with other languages, e.g., modularized XHTML. Another interesting point is that this proposal allows to specify format information like geodetic datum and angle unit. As methods of representing locations differ acccording to the country, region and organization, it will be a pragmatic way until they are standardized. The proposal includes the 'operational' specification in addition to the 'language' specification. While it is necessary to define operational details, it would be better to separate the two specifications, as operational specification will differ by users. As for standardization of representing geographical and point of interest information, relevant works being done by the Dublin Core and the IETF should also be studied. Handling location information in mobile devices is among agenda items of the W3C Mobile Access Activity. Embedding location information into HTML/XML documents will be interesting for the HTML Activity, particularly for the mobile-related work on XHTML..."


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