Find your way, no matter where you are

July 10, 2012

GPS is great and has helped nearly everyone at one stage or another to find their way.

The problem is that it doesn’t work indoors and all the mapping companies are working hard on finding a solution so you can find your way around the shopping mall or the supermarket.

Now there is a new kid on the block called IndoorAtlas.

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Developed by a team at Finland’s University of Oulu, their method relies on identifying the unique geomagnetic field of every location on Earth to get positioning through a mobile device.

It is very accurate, to less than 6.6 feet, and it can work without triangulations of wireless signals and at any location. IndoorAtlas has already conducted tests in a mine 4,593 feet deep.

Geomagnetic location-finding is already available through an Android API, so hopefully there will be plenty of apps coming our way soon.

Check out the video below for a brief explanation.

@maniac13


The future of Google Maps

June 7, 2012

Google had a nice little get together today where they talked about their mapping solutions, Google Maps, Google Earth, Navigation, Streetview etc. etc.

Google has been obsessed with maps for at least a decade now and they made the below video to tell you about their history:

So what is it that Google is envisioning for the future?

Being comprehensive

First of all there is StreetView wherever there wasn’t before. Google developed the StreetTrecker, a portable device to map out areas that can’t be reached by car, bike or bicycle.

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It is about 20kg and it has batteries that will last all day.

Think about exploring every little aspect of the Grand Canyon simple within Google Earth. It can also be used to map your favourite shopping mall.

Take it offline

The next big thing is offline Google Maps, yes you have read correctly. I am most excited about this one as I am overseas at the moment and constantly trying to find my way around, but don’t want to use roaming data so i always have to find a free wifi connection, thank you Starbucks.

Offline Google Maps for Android are coming in the next few weeks. Users will be able to take maps offline from more than 100 countries.

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The next dimension

Google has had 3D models in Google Earth since 2006 and today they announced that they will begin adding 3D model to entire metropolitan areas to mobile devices.

This is possible thanks to a combination of a new imagery rendering techniques and computer vision that lets Google automatically create 3D cityscapes, complete with buildings, terrain and even landscaping, from 45-degree aerial imagery.

By the end of the year the aim is to have 3D coverage for metropolitan areas with a combined population of 300 million people.

Pretty cool? that’s what I said.

@maniac13