News Column

Patent Issued for Real-Time Map Data Updating System and Method

June 17, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Information Technology Newsweekly -- From Alexandria, Virginia, VerticalNews journalists report that a patent by the inventors Choi, Yun Seok (Seoul, KR); Lee, Eun Bok (Seoul, KR), filed on April 17, 2012, was published online on June 3, 2014.

The patent's assignee for patent number 8744757 is SK Planet Co., Ltd (Seoul, KR).

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates generally to a system and method for a real-time update of map data stored in a terminal device and, more particularly, to a system and method for performing a real-time update of map data in a combination of one or more of level, tile and layer units according to update conditions.

"A car navigation system devised to use in vehicles offers a function to guide a current position based on a map or to guide a route to a desired destination. With communication technologies advanced in these days, a function to guide an optimum route based on real-time traffic information to users is also offered.

"This car navigation system may be classified into a map-stored navigation system and a map-streaming navigation system. In the former, a terminal device stores map data therein and, based on the stored map data, detects its current position and performs route guidance. In the latter, the terminal device operates by receiving real-time map data from a server through a network.

"The map-stored navigation system has a fast operating speed because of using stored map data, but requires a frequent update of the stored map data because of inevitable changes in map data due to passage of time. Unfortunately, no update of map data may make it difficult to perform exact route guidance due to unapplied geographic information.

"The map-streaming navigation system can always offer the newest map data to users because it receives map data of local area from a server via a network throughout its operations. However, this system requires much time for receiving and displaying map data and, if no transmission of map data results from data communication environment or surrounding environment, fails to offer a route guidance service to users.

"Accordingly, the present invention is to solve the above conventional problems and, more particularly, to provide a real-time map data updating system and method that can always offer a service based on the newest map data and minimize user's waiting time by combining a map-stored system and a map-streaming system.

"Also, the present invention is to provide a real-time map data updating system and method that perform a real-time update for map data in a combination of one or more of level, tile and layer units according to update conditions including a terminal device state and a network state.

"And also, the present invention is to provide a real-time map data updating system and method that perform a real-time update for map data in units of layer data that shows information corresponding to respective attributes when this information expressing a map is classified according to attribute."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "One aspect of the present invention provides a real-time map data updating system that comprises a service device configured to store map data including one or more of physical level data which expresses a specific area on one or more scales, one or more of tile data which indicates given-sized division of the specific area, and one or more of layer data which shows classified information on a map, and to provide the map data in one or more units of level, layer and tile units at an update request of a terminal device; and the terminal device configured to perform a route guidance function based on the stored map data, to determine parts for update in the stored map data in level, layer and tile units according to update conditions, to receive map data of the determined parts by sending a request to the service device, and to apply the received map data to the stored map data.

"In the real-time map data updating system of this invention, the service device is further configured to classify pieces of information expressing the map data according to attributes, to construct map data using a plurality of pieces of layer data each of which shows information corresponding to and classified by each attribute, and to manage an update version of the map data by the respective layer data.

"Another aspect of the present invention provides a service device that comprises a memory unit configured to store map data including one or more of physical level data which expresses a specific area on one or more scales, one or more of tile data which indicates given-sized division of the specific area, and one or more of layer data which shows classified information on a map; a map data management unit configured to manage versions of the map data, and to determine parts for update in the map data in a combination of one or more of level, layer and tile units according to update conditions of a terminal device; and a map data transmission unit configured to retrieve, from the memory unit, map data of the parts for update determined by the map data management unit, and to transmit the retrieved map data to the terminal device.

"In the service device of this invention, the update conditions includes one or more of a travel state of the terminal device, a travel speed of the terminal device, and a network state.

"The service device of this invention may further comprise one or more of an authentication unit configured to authenticate a service use right for a user of the terminal device, and a route service unit configured to extract route information from an origination to a destination in response to a request for the route information from the terminal device, and to provide the extracted route information to the terminal device.

"In the service device of this invention, the map data management unit may be further configured to collect in real time operating environment information from the terminal device, and to determine the update conditions on the basis of the collected operating environment information.

"In the service device of this invention, the map data management unit may be further configured to classify pieces of information expressing a map according to attributes, to store map data, in the memory unit, formed of a plurality of pieces of layer data each of which shows information corresponding to and classified by each attribute, and to determine layer data to be updated in map data of the terminal device according to an operating state of the terminal device.

"In the service device of this invention, the map data management unit may be further configured to, when the terminal device performs route guidance toward a specific destination, determine layer data of attribute associated with a route display toward the destination as the layer data to be updated, and when the terminal device approaches the destination within a given distance, to determine layer data of attribute associated with a position display of the destination as the layer data to be updated.

"In the service device of this invention, the layer data of attribute associated with a route display toward the destination may be layer data that shows one or more of a road, a subway line, and a bus line, and also the layer data of attribute associated with a position display of the destination may be layer data that shows buildings including a station, a terminal, a general house, a school, a public office, a hotel, and an apartment.

"Still another aspect of the present invention provides a terminal device that comprises a communication unit configured to transmit and receive data through a network; a memory unit configured to store map data including one or more of physical level data which expresses a specific area on one or more scales, one or more of tile data which indicates given-sized division of the specific area, and one or more of layer data which shows classified information on a map; a control unit configured to perform a route guidance function based on the map data, to determine update parts in the map data in a combination of one or more of level, tile and layer units according to update conditions, to receive map data of the determined parts from a service device, and to apply the received map data to the stored map data; and a display unit configured to display a route based on the map data under the control of the control unit.

"In the terminal device of this invention, the control unit may include an update management module configured to check the update conditions by collecting in real time operating environment information, and to determine the update parts in the map data in the combination of one or more of level, tile and layer units according to the update conditions; and a map data update module configured to receive, by sending a request to the service device, map data of the update parts corresponding to the combination of one or more of level, tile and layer units determined by the update management module, and to apply the received map data to the stored map data.

"In the terminal device of this invention, the memory unit may be further configured to store an update table that defines update parts expressed as combinations of one or more of level, tile and layer units according to predetermined update conditions, and the control unit may be further configured to determine the update parts by referring to the update table.

"The terminal device of this invention may further comprise a GPS unit configured to detect and offer one or more of a position, moving direction and speed of the terminal device to be used for the route guidance and update parts determination.

"Additionally, the update conditions may include one or more of a travel state of the terminal device, a travel speed of the terminal device, and a network state.

"In the terminal device of this invention, when information expressing a map is classified according to attributes, one or more of the layer data may show information corresponding to and classified by each attribute. In this case, the control unit may include an update management module configured to check in real time an operating state of the terminal device, and to determine layer data showing information of attribute required for the terminal device as layer data to be updated; and a map data update module configured to receive, by sending a request to the service device, the layer data determined by the update management module, and to apply the received map data to the stored map data.

"In the terminal device of this invention, the update management module may be further configured to, before route guidance toward a destination is started, determine layer data of attribute associated with a route display toward the destination as the layer data to be updated, and when the terminal device approaches the destination within a given distance during the route guidance, to determine layer data of attribute associated with a position display of the destination as the layer data to be updated.

"Yet another aspect of the present invention provides a real-time map data updating method that comprises steps of collecting operating environment information of a terminal device as basic information for update condition determination; checking update conditions of the terminal device by comparing the collected operating environment information with predetermined criteria, the update conditions including one or more of a travel state, a travel speed, and a network state; in response to the checked update conditions, selecting update parts of map data in a combination of one or more of level, tile and layer units; and updating map date of the selected update parts.

"Further another aspect of the present invention provides a real-time map data updating method in a layer data unit, which comprises steps of, by a service device, after classifying information expressing a map according to attributes, storing map data formed of a plurality of pieces of layer data each of which shows information corresponding to and classified by each attribute; checking an operating state of a terminal device storing map data; if route guidance toward a destination is not started as the result of the checking, transmitting layer data of attribute associated with a route display toward the destination to the terminal device; and if the terminal device approaches the destination within a given distance during the route guidance as the result of the checking, transmitting layer data of attribute associated with a position display of the destination to the terminal device.

"Further another aspect of the present invention provides a real-time map data updating method in a layer data unit, which comprises steps of, by a terminal device, after classifying information expressing a map according to attributes, storing map data formed of a plurality of pieces of layer data each of which shows information corresponding to and classified by each attribute; when there is a request for route guidance, updating layer data of attribute associated with a route display toward a destination in the map data; performing the route guidance toward the destination, based on the map data having the updated layer data of attribute associated with a route display toward the destination; checking whether approaching the destination within a given distance during the route guidance; if approaching the destination within a given distance, updating layer data of attribute associated with a position display of the destination in the map data; and performing the route guidance toward the destination, based on the map data having the updated layer data of attribute associated with a position display of the destination.

"Also, the present invention provides a computer-readable medium that records thereon a program executing the aforesaid real-time map data updating method.

"According to the present invention, when a terminal device stores map data and performs route guidance based on the stored map data, the stored map data is partially updated in real time in a combination of one or more of physical level, tile and layer units according to update conditions of the terminal device. It is therefore possible to offer route guidance based on the newest geographic information with user's waiting time minimized.

"Also, in update of map data, this invention allows an effective update with minimized user inconvenience by updating in real time just the minimum information required for operation and transmissible based on a travel state and speed of the terminal device and a network state.

"And also, in update of map data, this invention allows an effective update with minimized user inconvenience by updating in real time just the minimum information required for exact route guidance based on an operating state of the terminal device.

"As a result, this invention can remarkably enhance user convenience by taking advantages of both a map-stored system and a map-streaming system."

For additional information on this patent, see: Choi, Yun Seok; Lee, Eun Bok. Real-Time Map Data Updating System and Method. U.S. Patent Number 8744757, filed April 17, 2012, and published online on June 3, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8744757.PN.&OS=PN/8744757RS=PN/8744757

Keywords for this news article include: SK Planet Co. Ltd, Information Technology, Information and Data Management.

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Source: Information Technology Newsweekly


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