Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Human Accessible Mapping Applications


Published on

Quickly cobbled together presentation on how maps and directions could be more human consumable.

Published in: Technology, Business
  • Login to see the comments

Human Accessible Mapping Applications

  1. 1. Human Accessible Mapping Applications There is always a different view. Christian Heilmann, WhereCamp Sunnyvale 02.06.2007
  2. 2. You can copy, distribute, transmit and remix this if you attribute me and release it under the same or similar licence.
  3. 3. • I am terribly bad at reading maps and driving instructions. • Directions like “take the street north” don’t work for me unless I have a compass with me. • Furthermore, I am normally not in a car, but use public transport, cycle or walk (London, eh?)
  4. 4. • However, I have a good photographic memory. • Instructions from me would be: – Walk down the street towards the big building with the crown on top. – You’ll go past a sex shop on the right, followed by a kebab place and a news stand with a grumpy looking man with a shaggy beard inside. – After about 5 minutes and two bus stops there’ll be a pub called “The Swan”
  5. 5.
  6. 6. • These are human-readable instructions, and they don’t have the problems others have, which are: – North, South, West and East are not obvious when you don’t have a compass – Street signs are amazingly expensive and there is no real need to keep them up-to date. – Post codes are an approximation.
  7. 7. • Using these principles and GPS devices we could create more human instructions how to find your way around. • This could also be an accessibility benefit.
  8. 8. • Humanware in Canada have developed a GPS driven device for blind people • This device allows a person with a disability to explore unknown territory unaided.
  9. 9. • The problem is that instructions for sighted people are not necessarily the right ones for blind people. • Good instructions are catered for the person who needs them and written by somebody with a similar disposition.
  10. 10. • Therefore in order to come up with really human-friendly map applications and GPS devices we’ll need to work on a format to define them in. • One option is to take a leaf out of the book of SMIL. • Use XML to define a time-line with GPS data translated to the different output formats.
  11. 11. • Last but not least, we need more social mashups. – Right now, local applications show things like petrol stations, cafés, shops and points of interest.
  12. 12. – Where is the information about clean free public toilets*? – Where are the hangouts of beautiful single people? – Where can I safely deposit my luggage when I have 3 hours to kill before my flight leaves? – Where can I get the cheapest, but also best quality “My son went to San Francisco but all I got is this lousy T- Shirt” shirt? *
  13. 13. Thanks! rel=“me” Christian Heilmann flickr/ codepo8