Creative Industries


13 May 2010

For international student Jan Seeburger, finding balance between developing new technologies, and living a healthy outdoor lifestyle, is an important approach to undertaking a PhD at QUT Creative Industries.

Arriving from Germany in 2009, Jan has been working with the Urban Informatics Research Group developing the mobile iPhone application DispoMaps.

DispoMaps enables you to share your current location on an online map with anyone. The map is constantly updated as you go, using your iPhone's GPS.

Jan says DispoMaps is easy to use. "Launch the app, switch Location Sharing to 'ON', and decide how you want to share your location: via SMS, email, twitter, or facebook. Your friends or colleagues will be sent a link to a unique web page displaying a map of your real-time destination. Once you've arrived at your destination you can dispose of your map by switching the location to 'OFF'."

So if you are running a bit late for an appointment, Jan suggests a good way to let people know how far away you are is by sending them automatic real-time updates through DispoMaps. "That way you can concentrate on getting there, rather than having to keep ringing to let them know how long you'll be", he said.

In Germany the beach was over 600 kilometres away from Jan's house. So he's making the most of living close to the Gold Coast by going surfing two mornings a week. Jan says that balancing his work hours is great because he can choose to surf in the mornings and work later at night to get through his projects. "We don't have such beautiful surf beaches like this in Germany", he says.

Jan says that he started working on DispoMaps as it was a tangible project to launch into his PhD. "For me this is the first time my developments have been used by real people. Other applications I have developed have been prototypes or proof of concepts through my honours and masters projects. I'm interested to gain insights about how people share location in urban environments".

To download your free version of DispoMaps for your iPhone please go to:

Jan has recently won a scholarship to attend the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco in June. Jan's supervisor, Assoc. Prof. Marcus Foth says, "Jan will get the opportunity to build international contacts and raise further awareness of his work in a hothouse of iPhone app developers. It's a much deserved recognition of Jan's excellent performance as a PhD student by the Apple University Consortium."

DispoMaps is a project emerging from the Urban Informatics Research Group. For more information please visit:

Jan Seeburger texts location map from the Gold Coast

DispoMaps screen display on iPhone

Associate Professor Marcus Foth with PhD Candidate Jan Seeburger


Creative Industries Faculty

  • Postal address:
    QUT Creative Industries Faculty
    Musk Ave
    Kelvin Grove QLD 4059