Patent number 8560225 is assigned to iPointer, Inc. (
The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates generally to systems and devices for determining geographic information, and specifically to distributed systems and devices for interpreting spatial and geographic data and presenting said data to a user.
"Maps still provide the main means for understanding spatial environments, as well as for performing tasks such as way finding, trip planning, and location-tracking. Static traditional maps have several disadvantages. First, maps necessarily have a fixed orientation. That is, the map always faces in one direction (typically north). The map users, however, may be facing any direction at any given moment. Hence, in order to understand the map users need to perform some kind of rotation, either of them and/or of the map to align their frame of reference with the map's frame of reference or to align the map's frame of reference with the real world's frame of reference. This process puts an immense cognitive load on the users, because it is not always intuitive and may present considerable difficulties, especially in cases of complex, uniform or unfamiliar spatial environments.
"Maps are also hindered by the fact that they have a fixed scale that cannot be changed to a different granularity level. This limitation is one of the most restrictive aspects of paper maps. The scale determines the level of zooming into a spatial environment, as well as the level of detail and the type of information that is displayed on a map. Users, however, need to constantly change between different scales, depending on whether they want a detailed view of their immediate surrounding environment or a more extensive and abstract view in order to plan a trip or find a destination. Current solutions to the problem include tourist guides that comprise maps of a specific area at many different scales. Tourist guides, however, are bulky books, difficult to carry around, and search time is considerable as they typically consist of hundreds of pages.
"Maps also fail to accommodate rapid changes in our natural and urban environments. On a map, all spatial environments and the objects that they encompass, whether artificial or natural, are displayed statically although they are actually dynamic and change over time. Artificial spatial objects, such as buildings, may get created, destroyed, or extended, while others, such as land parcels, may merge, shrink, or change character (e.g., when a rural area is developed). The same holds true for natural features, for instance, a river may expand or shrink because of a flood. The static 2-dimensional map is restricted to representing a snapshot in time and the information on it may soon become obsolete, or worse, misleading.
Most Popular Stories
- NSA Defends Global Cellphone Tracking Legality
- Top Websites for U.S. Hispanics
- Ad Counts Rise in 2013 for Hispanic Magazines
- Networks Vie for U.S. Hispanic TV Viewers
- Saab Gets Back into the Game; U.S. Auto Sales Soar
- Apple Activates Customer-Tracking iBeacon
- A Biography of Jonathan Ive, Apple's Creative Chief
- 2013 Tech Gift Guide: iPad Mini Still Hot; Chromecast a Great Low-Cost Option
- Dell Offers Undisclosed Number of Employee Buyouts
- Authorities Close to Deal with JPMorgan Chase over Madoff Response