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A Revolution in Location Based Services

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A Revolution in Location
Based Services
Xinhang Shen
NAC Geographic Products Inc.
www.nacgeo.com
International IT Conferences in Toronto on October 14-16, 2003
NAC Geographic Products Inc.
NAC: 8KDC PGFC
International IT Conferences in Toronto on October 14-16, 2003
NAC Geographic Products Inc.
CURRENT PROBLEMS
International IT Conferences in Toronto on October 14-16, 2003
NAC Geographic Products Inc.
Geographic Coordinates
Current geographic coordinates such as
longitude/latitude and UTM
пѓ�They require long character strings to represent
locations that are nearly useless to consumers
пѓ�They are defined on different geodetic datums that
introduces huge amount of work in datum conversion
пѓ�They have many writing conventions and units such
as decimal degrees, degrees/minutes/seconds,
kilometers, meters, feet, etc that add more complexities
in parsing and converting the coordinates
International IT Conferences in Toronto on October 14-16, 2003
NAC Geographic Products Inc.
Geographic Area Codes
Currently, there are no universal area codes for all
areas in the world. People have to use various nonstandard and inefficient ways to specify areas such as:
пѓ�Names of places: countries, provinces/states, cities,
etc that are language dependent and incomplete
пѓ�Postal codes and telephone service area codes that
have different formats and do not cover all areas
пѓ�Map sheet numbers such as Canadian National
Topographic System (NTS) map sheet numbers that are
defined only in some countries.
International IT Conferences in Toronto on October 14-16, 2003
NAC Geographic Products Inc.
Addresses
Current addresses in the world are
пѓ�Language dependent: written in hundreds of different
languages
пѓ�Defined differently: different elements and different
writing conventions
пѓ�Inefficient: consisting of long strings of characters of
different languages
пѓ�Irrelevant to geographic coordinates
International IT Conferences in Toronto on October 14-16, 2003
NAC Geographic Products Inc.
Postal Codes
Current postal codes used in the world have many
problems too.
пѓ�They are different in different countries
пѓ�They are facing shortages in assigning new codes
пѓ�They are getting chaotic in spatial distribution
пѓ�They are not assigned to individual addresses
пѓ�They need to be maintained
International IT Conferences in Toronto on October 14-16, 2003
NAC Geographic Products Inc.
Map Grids
Current maps use many different map grids:
longitude/latitude, UTM and locally defined grids.
пѓ�The grid coordinates of these grids are difficult to be
connected
пѓ�Locally defined grids on many street maps generate
grid coordinates meaningless outside of their maps.
�Consumers can’t directly pinpoint addresses on these
grids
International IT Conferences in Toronto on October 14-16, 2003
NAC Geographic Products Inc.
GPS Receivers
GPS receivers can instantly tell its accurate location anywhere in
the world. However, the representation of the location is a big
problem
пѓ�Using street addresses to represent locations needs a huge
address database which is always outdated and incomplete, and
street addresses are not available in most locations and also very
long language dependent character strings.
пѓ�Although geographic coordinates cover all locations, they are
always too long to read, remember and communicate
пѓ�Using maps to display locations makes GPS receivers large,
heavy, short battery life, expensive and complicated. It is still
difficult to communicate the location information.
International IT Conferences in Toronto on October 14-16, 2003
NAC Geographic Products Inc.
GIS and Mapping
Because of the lack of efficient universal area codes,
GIS and mapping software have to use geographic
coordinates to specify an area and retrieve its map for a
randomly given area, which needs four long decimal
geographic coordinates that:
пѓ�Take long time to input
пѓ�Are very difficult to remember and communicate
International IT Conferences in Toronto on October 14-16, 2003
NAC Geographic Products Inc.
Huge Gaps
The most serious problem is that there are huge gaps
between location representations such as:
пѓ�Street addresses and geographic coordinates
пѓ�Street addresses and map grids
пѓ�Place names and geographic coordinates
пѓ�Postal codes and geographic coordinates
пѓ�Street address and postal codes
International IT Conferences in Toronto on October 14-16, 2003
NAC Geographic Products Inc.
THE NATURAL AREA CODING SYSTEM
International IT Conferences in Toronto on October 14-16, 2003
NAC Geographic Products Inc.
Objective
The objective of the new geodetic system is to
standardize, optimize and unify
пѓ�Geodetic datums
пѓ�Geographic coordinates
пѓ�Geographic area codes
пѓ�Map grids
пѓ�Addresses
пѓ�Postal codes
International IT Conferences in Toronto on October 14-16, 2003
NAC Geographic Products Inc.
Approaches
To reach the objective, the following approaches are
taken:
пѓ�Unifying the concepts of geographic areas and
geographic locations because any point can be
represented by a small area
пѓ�Using more characters (the 30 most popular
characters in the world) instead of digits to compress
the representation
0123456789BCDFGHJKLMNPQRSTVWXZ
пѓ�Introducing a standard, highly efficient, flexible and
unified representation for both an area and a location
International IT Conferences in Toronto on October 14-16, 2003
NAC Geographic Products Inc.
Definition
The Natural Area Coding System is defined by a series of
grids called NAC Grids to divide the world:
Level 1 Grid: divide the world into 30 divisions in both
longitude and latitude directions.
Level 2 Grid: divide each cell on Level 1 Grid into 30
divisions in both directions.
Level n Grid: divide each cell on Level n-1 Grid into 30
divisions in both directions, where n = 2, 3, ....
Each division is assigned a NAC character accordingly.
International IT Conferences in Toronto on October 14-16, 2003
NAC Geographic Products Inc.
Representation – Simple NAC
A Natural Area Code (NAC) is written in a strict format
that starts with: “NAC: ” followed by two character
strings representing longitude and latitude respectively
separated by a blank space, e.g.
NAC: 8CNB Q7Z4
Where:
8 and Q represent Level 1 NAC Grid coordinates
C and 7 represent Level 2 NAC Grid coordinates
N and Z represent Level 3 NAC Grid coordinates
B and 4 represent Level 4 NAC Grid coordinates
International IT Conferences in Toronto on October 14-16, 2003
NAC Geographic Products Inc.
Representation – Complex NAC
A series of neighboring NACs forming a rectangular
area on a NAC Grid can be written as a complex NAC.
NAC: 8CNB Q7Z4
+ NAC: 8CNC Q7Z4
+ NAC: 8CNB Q7Z5
+ NAC: 8CNC Q7Z5
= NAC: 8CNB-C Q7Z4-5
8CNB Q7Z4
8CNC Q7Z4
8CNB Q7Z5
8CNC Q7Z5
8CNB-C Q7Z4-5
With complex NACs, any randomly given area can be
represented by a NAC
International IT Conferences in Toronto on October 14-16, 2003
NAC Geographic Products Inc.
NAC Cell Sizes
Each simple NAC represents a NAC cell in the world
with an area approximately equal to:
LEVEL
Sample NAC
AREA
1
NAC: 8 Q
1000x700 km
2
NAC: 8C Q8
33x23 km
3
NAC: 8CN Q8Z
1.1x0.8 km
4
NAC: 8CNB Q8Z4
35x25 m
5
NAC: 8CNBD Q8Z4H 1.2x0.8 m
International IT Conferences in Toronto on October 14-16, 2003
NAC Geographic Products Inc.
Efficiency in Representing Points
A NAC can be used to represent any point location on
the earth to save about 50% of characters compared
with other geographic coordinates, and tells not only
the location but also the resolution of the
representation.
The following represent the same location with the
same resolution:
NAC: 02CK7 7SPJJ
Latitude South 43.05632, Longitude West 179.04567
International IT Conferences in Toronto on October 14-16, 2003
NAC Geographic Products Inc.
Efficiency in Representing Areas
A NAC can be used to represent any area on the earth
to save about 90% of characters compared with other
geographic coordinates.
The following represent the same area:
NAC: 8G PW
An area centered at Longitude West 78.2 degrees
and Latitude North 41.5 degrees with a span of 24
minutes in easting and 12 minutes in northing
International IT Conferences in Toronto on October 14-16, 2003
NAC Geographic Products Inc.
APPLICATIONS
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NAC Geographic Products Inc.
Universal Address
An eight or ten character NAC representing an area about 25x35
meters or 0.8x1.2 meters anywhere in the world is called a Universal
Address that can specify uniquely in the world:
пѓ�Each building
пѓ�Each house
Our address
пѓ�Each gate/door
пѓ�Each parking meter
1608-45 Huntingdale Blvd.
пѓ�Each fire hydrant
Toronto, ON M1W 2N8
пѓ�Each sewage exit
Canada
пѓ�Each tree
NAC: 8CNB Q8Z4
пѓ�Each street light
пѓ�Each bus stop
Our Universal Address
International IT Conferences in Toronto on October 14-16, 2003
NAC Geographic Products Inc.
Universal Address (cont’d)
Compared with traditional addresses, the Universal
Address has many advantages:
пѓ�Standard in the entire world
пѓ�Language independent
пѓ�Defined everywhere
пѓ�Easy to display, read, remember and communicate
пѓ�Fit small spaces of business cards, yellow pages, etc
пѓ�Pinpointed on all maps with Universal Map Grids
пѓ�Navigated with GPS receivers
пѓ�Make emergency services faster and more reliable
пѓ�As Global Postal Code to sort both domestic and
international mail to final mailboxes automatically
International IT Conferences in Toronto on October 14-16, 2003
NAC Geographic Products Inc.
Business Cards
The Universal Address can perfectly fit the limited space
of a business card as part of an address to help people
to reach the location more efficiently:
пѓ�Get direction and distance
NAC Geographic Products Inc.
http://www.nacgeo.com
from street signs
Xinhang Shen, Ph.D.
пѓ�Pinpoint the location on maps
President & CEO
пѓ�Navigate to the location with
1608-45 Hintingdale Blvd.
Tel: (416) 496 6110
Toronto,
ON
M1W
2N8
Fax: (416) 496 9241
GPS receivers
Canada NAC: 8CNB Q8Z4
xshen@nacgeo.com
пѓ�Specify the location on location
Universal Address
based services quickly
International IT Conferences in Toronto on October 14-16, 2003
NAC Geographic Products Inc.
GPS Watch
Displaying Universal Addresses instead of geographic
coordinates on a GPS watch can eliminate the need of
maps and retain the real advantages of a watch: small,
light, long battery life, low cost and easy to use.
Widely using GPS watches will start a new era for using
accurate spatial information just like accurate time.
People will use Universal Addresses to record the
accurate locations of accidents, crimes, discoveries,
events, emergency needs, campsites, fishing spots, etc.
International IT Conferences in Toronto on October 14-16, 2003
NAC Geographic Products Inc.
GPS Watch (cont’d)
International IT Conferences in Toronto on October 14-16, 2003
NAC Geographic Products Inc.
GPS Cellphone
Manufacturers are shy to display
geographic coordinates on a cellphone
even if it has a GPS inside because
they are useless to consumers.
This will be changed by Universal
Address because they are directly
related to addresses, postal codes,
street signs, maps, yellow pages, etc.
Displaying Universal Addresses on
cellphones will turn cellphones into
powerful navigation tools.
International IT Conferences in Toronto on October 14-16, 2003
NAC Geographic Products Inc.
Universal Map Grids
Street maps use locally defined grids because accurate
geographic grids based on UTM or longitude/latitude
will produce long coordinates that are difficult for
consumers to use.
NAC Grids called Universal Map Grids has solved the
problem. They can be applied on all kinds of maps and
the grid coordinates are short Natural Area Codes.
Universal Addresses can be directly pinpointed on all
maps with NAC Grids. The location information on
these maps are directly connected.
International IT Conferences in Toronto on October 14-16, 2003
NAC Geographic Products Inc.
International IT Conferences in Toronto on October 14-16, 2003
NAC Geographic Products Inc.
International IT Conferences in Toronto on October 14-16, 2003
NAC Geographic Products Inc.
International IT Conferences in Toronto on October 14-16, 2003
NAC Geographic Products Inc.
International IT Conferences in Toronto on October 14-16, 2003
NAC Geographic Products Inc.
Phone Books
Universal Addresses can be easily listed with telephone
numbers on telephone books so that people can:
пѓ�Directly pinpoint the locations on all maps
пѓ�Navigate to the locations with GPS receivers
пѓ�Efficiently use all location based services
пѓ�Conveniently use all other GIS applications
International IT Conferences in Toronto on October 14-16, 2003
NAC Geographic Products Inc.
Driving Directions Services
Using Universal Addresses instead
of street addresses to specify
locations can
пѓ�Reduce 80% of input keys
пѓ�Avoid inputting foreign characters
пѓ�Eliminate errors of address databases
пѓ�Extend the services to all locations
It can also make a multi-page interface
for driving directions on a cellphone fit
into a single page.
International IT Conferences in Toronto on October 14-16, 2003
NAC Geographic Products Inc.
Retrieving Maps
Using Natural Area Codes instead of longitude/latitude
coordinates to retrieve maps on GIS and map servers
can save 80% of input keys and also make the map
codes much easier to remember and communicate.
Bottom left corner longitude
Bottom left corner latitude
Top right corner longitude
Top right corner latitude
-79.6417
degrees
43.5167
degrees
-79.1917
degrees
43.8167
degrees
NAC: 8C Q8
Get Map
Get Map
International IT Conferences in Toronto on October 14-16, 2003
NAC Geographic Products Inc.
Location Based Search
Using Natural Area Codes instead of street addresses to specify a
searching area can save 90% of input keys and make the searching
available on all areas no matter whether there are addresses or not.
Type
Restaurant
Street
45 Huntingdale Blvd.
City
Toronto
State
Ontario
ZIP
M1W 2N8
Country
Canada
Range
1 KM
Type Restaurant
NAC: 8CB Q8Z
Search
Search
International IT Conferences in Toronto on October 14-16, 2003
NAC Geographic Products Inc.
Global Postal Codes
Universal Addresses can be used as Global Postal
Codes for all countries to sort both domestic and
international mail to final mailboxes automatically with
many advantages:
пѓ�Defined at all addresses and locations in the world
пѓ�Never used up
пѓ�No need to be assigned and maintained
пѓ�Self-error detection
пѓ�Political neutral
пѓ�Multiple uses
International IT Conferences in Toronto on October 14-16, 2003
NAC Geographic Products Inc.
Global Postal Code on Mail
Global Postal Code
International IT Conferences in Toronto on October 14-16, 2003
NAC Geographic Products Inc.
Street Signs
Universal Addresses can be
marked on all street signs and
highway sections so that
people can
пѓ�Directly estimate the distance
and direction from the current
street sign to any destination
by comparing the two Universal
Addresses
пѓ�Record accurate locations for
accidents, events, parking
locations, etc
International IT Conferences in Toronto on October 14-16, 2003
NAC Geographic Products Inc.
Universal Property Identifier
Universal Addresses can be used as Universal
Property Identifiers with many advantages such as:
пѓ�Valid in the entire world
пѓ�Never used up and always well aligned
пѓ�Representing accurate location
пѓ�Saving space in storing geographic coordinates
пѓ�Efficient for communication
International IT Conferences in Toronto on October 14-16, 2003
NAC Geographic Products Inc.
Emergency Services
Using Universal Addresses instead of street addresses
in dispatching and communicating location information
can significantly enhance emergency services and
make them faster and more reliable because they:
пѓ�Can be directly pinpointed on all maps.
пѓ�Can be efficiently input and displayed on all devices
пѓ�Are easy to remember and communicate
International IT Conferences in Toronto on October 14-16, 2003
NAC Geographic Products Inc.
SUMMARY
International IT Conferences in Toronto on October 14-16, 2003
NAC Geographic Products Inc.
Accomplishments
The Natural Area Coding System has unified
пѓ�geographic coordinates
пѓ�geographic area codes
пѓ�map grids
пѓ�Addresses
пѓ�postal codes
пѓ�property identifiers
It makes all location related products, services and
technologies highly efficient and closely related.
International IT Conferences in Toronto on October 14-16, 2003
NAC Geographic Products Inc.
As Universal
Property Identifiers
to unify identifiers
and coordinates
Listed on telephone books to
enhance location information
As part of an address
perfectly fit a business card
As Global Postal Codes
to sort all mail from world
level to final mailboxes
Marked on street signs to help
travelers determine the distance
and direction of any destination
A Universal Address is a highly efficient and unified
representation of an address, postal code, area code,
map grid coordinates and geographic coordinates.
Displayed instead of meaningless
longitude and latitude on GPS watches
and cellphones to turn them into timespatial clocks and navigation tools
To specify locations on any LBS to
reduce 80% input keys, avoid
inputting foreign characters, eliminate
errors from address databases and
extend services to all locations with
and without addresses.
They can be directly pinpointed on all kinds
of maps in any scales and projections
International IT Conferences in Toronto on October 14-16, 2003
NAC Geographic Products Inc.
Profundities
The Natural Area Coding System
пѓ�Has first made accurate geographic coordinates to be
useful information for consumers
пѓ�Connects and simplifies the information on mail,
business cards, yellow pages, maps, GPS, GIS,
location based services and street signs
пѓ�Starts a new era for using accurate universal digital
addresses in the world
International IT Conferences in Toronto on October 14-16, 2003
NAC Geographic Products Inc.
Industry Readiness
The Natural Area Coding System has been deployed and
implemented in:
пѓ�Somaliland as property identifiers, addresses and postal codes
пѓ�Online Universal Address lookup (www.TravelGIS.com/geocode/)
providing Universal Addresses for 18 countries
пѓ�Online driving directions (www.TravelGIS.com/directions/)
providing turn-by-turn driving directions for 26 countries
пѓ�Wireless LBS (http://mlbs.net/) providing driving directions, maps
and location based business searching for 26 countries
пѓ�Online map service (www.TravelGIS.com/webgis/)
International IT Conferences in Toronto on October 14-16, 2003
NAC Geographic Products Inc.
Quotations from the Globe and Mail
“The Holy Grail in terms of addresses is a simple
system that will work in all countries.” – Tim
Evangelatos, Strategic Technologies and Policy
Advisor for GeoConnections at Natural Resources
Canada
“This is an elegant solution that seems to supply
something that is becoming necessary as the world
becomes more globalized,” – Matt Ball, Editor of
GwoWorld magazine. “It’s only a matter of time before
something like this will be implemented.”
International IT Conferences in Toronto on October 14-16, 2003
NAC Geographic Products Inc.
Thank you!
International IT Conferences in Toronto on October 14-16, 2003
NAC Geographic Products Inc.
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