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
They require long character strings to represent
locations that are nearly useless to consumers
They are defined on different geodetic datums that
introduces huge amount of work in datum conversion
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 non-
standard and inefficient ways to specify areas such as:
Names of places: countries, provinces/states, cities,
etc that are language dependent and incomplete
Postal codes and telephone service area codes that
have different formats and do not cover all areas
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

Language dependent: written in hundreds of different
languages

Defined differently: different elements and different
writing conventions

Inefficient: consisting of long strings of characters of
different languages

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.

They are different in different countries

They are facing shortages in assigning new codes

They are getting chaotic in spatial distribution

They are not assigned to individual addresses

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.

The grid coordinates of these grids are difficult to be
connected

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

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.

Although geographic coordinates cover all locations, they are
always too long to read, remember and communicate

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:

Take long time to input

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:

Street addresses and geographic coordinates

Street addresses and map grids

Place names and geographic coordinates

Postal codes and geographic coordinates

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
Geodetic datums
Geographic coordinates
Geographic area codes
Map grids
Addresses
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:
Unifying the concepts of geographic areas and
geographic locations because any point can be
represented by a small area
Using more characters (the 30 most popular
characters in the world) instead of digits to compress
the representation
          0123456789BCDFGHJKLMNPQRSTVWXZ
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.
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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                                  8CNB Q7Z4             8CNC Q7Z4
 + NAC: 8CNC Q7Z4
 + NAC: 8CNB Q7Z5                                  8CNB Q7Z5             8CNC Q7Z5
 + NAC: 8CNC Q7Z5

= NAC: 8CNB-C Q7Z4-5                                      8CNB-C Q7Z4-5

With complex NACs, any randomly given area can be
represented by a NAC
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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


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                           APPLICATIONS




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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:


Each building
Each house                        Our address
Each gate/door
Each parking meter                1608-45 Huntingdale Blvd.
Each fire hydrant                 Toronto, ON M1W 2N8
Each sewage exit                  Canada
Each tree                         NAC: 8CNB Q8Z4
Each street light
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:
Standard in the entire world
Language independent
Defined everywhere
Easy to display, read, remember and communicate
Fit small spaces of business cards, yellow pages, etc
Pinpointed on all maps with Universal Map Grids
Navigated with GPS receivers
Make emergency services faster and more reliable
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:

Get direction and distance                NAC Geographic Products Inc.
 from street signs                                  http://www.nacgeo.com

Pinpoint the location on maps                       Xinhang Shen, Ph.D.
                                                        President & CEO
Navigate to the location with
                                          1608-45 Hintingdale Blvd. Tel: (416) 496 6110
 GPS receivers                            Toronto, ON M1W 2N8
                                          Canada NAC: 8CNB Q8Z4
                                                                    Fax: (416) 496 9241
                                                                    xshen@nacgeo.com
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.

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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:

Directly pinpoint the locations on all maps
Navigate to the locations with GPS receivers
Efficiently use all location based services
Conveniently use all other GIS applications




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Driving Directions Services
Using Universal Addresses instead
of street addresses to specify
locations can
Reduce 80% of input keys
Avoid inputting foreign characters
Eliminate errors of address databases
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.
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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          -79.6417          degrees
   Bottom left corner latitude             43.5167         degrees
                                                                            NAC: 8C Q8
   Top right corner longitude            -79.1917          degrees
   Top right corner latitude              43.8167          degrees            Get Map

                               Get Map

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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                                       Type Restaurant
         State     Ontario
                                                                 NAC: 8CB Q8Z
         ZIP       M1W 2N8
         Country   Canada                                              Search
         Range     1 KM

                        Search
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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:

Defined at all addresses and locations in the world
Never used up
No need to be assigned and maintained
Self-error detection
Political neutral
Multiple uses


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Global Postal Code on Mail




  Global Postal Code
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Street Signs
Universal Addresses can be
marked on all street signs and
highway sections so that
people can
Directly estimate the distance
and direction from the current
street sign to any destination
by comparing the two Universal
Addresses
Record accurate locations for
accidents, events, parking
locations, etc
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Universal Property Identifier
Universal Addresses can be used as Universal
Property Identifiers with many advantages such as:
Valid in the entire world
Never used up and always well aligned
Representing accurate location
Saving space in storing geographic coordinates
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:
Can be directly pinpointed on all maps.
Can be efficiently input and displayed on all devices
Are easy to remember and communicate




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                                    SUMMARY




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Accomplishments
The Natural Area Coding System has unified
geographic coordinates
geographic area codes
map grids
Addresses
postal codes
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                                                      As Global Postal Codes
                          Property Identifiers        Listed on telephone books to
                                                      enhance location information          to sort all mail from world
                          to unify identifiers                                              level to final mailboxes
                          and coordinates

                                                                           Marked on street signs to help
                           As part of an address                           travelers determine the distance
                           perfectly fit a business card                   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.

                                                                       To specify locations on any LBS to
                          Displayed instead of meaningless             reduce 80% input keys, avoid
                          longitude and latitude on GPS watches        inputting foreign characters, eliminate
                          and cellphones to turn them into time-       errors from address databases and
                          spatial clocks and navigation tools          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

Has first made accurate geographic coordinates to be
useful information for consumers

Connects and simplifies the information on mail,
business cards, yellow pages, maps, GPS, GIS,
location based services and street signs

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:

Somaliland as property identifiers, addresses and postal codes

Online Universal Address lookup (www.TravelGIS.com/geocode/)
providing Universal Addresses for 18 countries

Online driving directions (www.TravelGIS.com/directions/)
providing turn-by-turn driving directions for 26 countries

Wireless LBS (http://mlbs.net/) providing driving directions, maps
and location based business searching for 26 countries

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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