An Interview with Laura Ruotsalainen

In this interview, we talk to Laura Ruotsalainen, author of the book, The Present and Future of Indoor Navigation. We discuss the motivation behind writing the book, the target audience, the most useful aspects of the book, the challenges of writing the book, and advice for other engineers who are considering writing a book. 

Laura Ruotsalainen is a professor in computer science in Department of Computer Science, University of Helsinki. She leads a research group in spatiotemporal data analysis for sustainability science (SDA) which does research on estimation and machine learning methods using spatiotemporal data. She has a long research career in the navigation field including GNSS and sensor fusion for urban and indoor environments, computer vision, and analysis of GNSS signal characteristics and GNSS interference mitigation. She is a member of the steering group of the Finnish Center for AI (FCAI). She received her master’s degree from the Department of Computer Science, University of Helsinki in 2003 and doctoral degree in 2013 from the Department of Pervasive Computing, Tampere University of Technology. Her doctoral research was partly done at the University of Calgary, Canada.  

1. What was your main motivation behind writing your book?  
The existing navigation books were either too wide for acquiring the knowledge required for designing a system for indoor navigation or doing research on the topic or were concentrating on the consumer applications and thereby missing other sectors. We also found a gap on books giving a concise overview on the topic and providing practical solutions for implementing indoor navigation systems. 

2. Who is the main target audience for your book and what will they appreciate the most about the book?
The main target audience includes researchers, engineers, and students who are interested in indoor navigation, but the book is also a valuable resource for anyone who wants to learn more about the latest technologies and algorithms for indoor navigation. 

3. What do you see your book being most useful for?
The book will provide a comprehensive overview of the requirements and different possibilities to set up indoor navigation. It will also help the readers to select the best option for their individual indoor navigation needs. Additionally, the book will give a look for the future possibilities to improve the performance of indoor navigation. 

4. How did you find the writing of the book? Do you have a specific process or are you quite methodical in your writing approach? 
Writing the book was fun but quite laborious. We concentrated on the book one chapter at time and had individual deadlines for them all and thereby the work felt less scary from the beginning. The organization of the book made writing quite straightforward, starting from the basic elements to the full indoor navigation setups.  

5. What challenges did you face when writing the book and how did you overcome them?
We were three authors, and the challenge was to harmonize the different parts of the text and standardize the use of variables. At the same time, it made quality control easy. We all read each other’s texts, commented, and helped in improving those.  

6. What advice would you give to other engineers who are considering writing a book? 
It is a process that is worth doing. Although it sounds like a huge task before starting, work takes you along and rewards you.  

7. What are you working on next? 
We are working now on making scientific breakthroughs on indoor navigation technologies and publishing those as scientific peer-reviewed papers. In other words, creating material for future books on indoor navigation. 


 Learn more about the book on our websites

ARTECH HOUSE USA : The Present and Future of Indoor Navigation

ARTECH HOUSE U.K.: The Present and Future of Indoor Navigation

More GNSS Technology and Applications content here GNSS Technology – Artech House Insider

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