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Human Accessible Mapping Applications

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Human Accessible Mapping Applications

  1. 1. Human Accessible Mapping Applications There is always a different view. Christian Heilmann, WhereCamp Sunnyvale 02.06.2007 http://icant.co.uk/articles/humanmaps
  2. 2. You can copy, distribute, transmit and remix this if you attribute me and release it under the same or similar licence. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/
  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. http://www.flickr.com/photos/david_wilmot/6371141/
  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? * http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/3919973.stm
  13. 13. Thanks! rel=“me” Christian Heilmann http://wait-till-i.com http://icant.co.uk chris.heilmann@gmail.com flickr/del.icio.us/twitter/skype: codepo8

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