Developing a Research Framework of Augmented Reality-Based Location-Based Social Networks in the GIScience Context



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Location-based social networks (LBSN) and augmented reality (AR) are closely interconnected concepts which both are important research areas to the GIScience community. Although they have drawn remarkable research attention individually over the years, there has been virtually no existing attempt that examines the newly emerging intersection of them, AR-based LBSN. The concept of AR-based LBSN is rooted in the notion of AR 2.0, which was proposed by Schmalstieg, Langlotz, and Billinghurst (2011) and has been developed into a number of popular applications over the last decade. In spite of the close relationship between AR-based LBSN and GIScience, there has not been adequate discussion on this concept from a GIScience perspective. To address the importance of AR-based LBSN among the GIScience community and to bring new research insights both theoretically or empirically, this dissertation proposes a novel research framework of AR-based LBSN in the GIScience context. The main objective of this framework is to help people better understand the dynamics of human-place interaction, especially how characteristics of physical space/place influence people’s online behavior, through AR-based LBSN. This goal is fulfilled by achieving three sub-objectives. Specifically, this dissertation: 1) discusses from theoretical and application-oriented perspectives how AR-integrated LBSN can enrich the GIScience research agenda; 2) proposes a methodological pipeline to collect, process, and analyze data quantitatively from a popular AR-based LBSN (Wallame) and demonstrates the pipeline via a global-scale case study; 3) assesses the influence of characteristics of physical space/place on people’s creation and interpretation of AR information via an empirical qualitative study. Suggestions of improvement and directions of future research are proposed in the end.