Augmented and Real-Time Maps

Scott Page's picture
Interesting idea under development at the University of Cambridge.

"Printed maps can be designed and printed to show fine detail and yet remain easy to take in at a glance. They are also simple to use in group discussions. However, a new map needs to be printed whenever information changes. Computer-based maps on a screen can change dynamically to represent a changing situation, but are not as easy to use. Dr Tom Drummond, Dr Gerhard Reitmayr, and Ethan Eade are combining the benefits of printed maps with the benefits of computer based dynamic maps, creating a dynamic high resolution map by augmenting printed maps with digital graphical information."

"Tom and his team have implemented a flood control application for the city of Cambridge to demonstrate possible features of augmented maps. The River Cam running close to the city centre of Cambridge can flood the surrounding areas, which are lower than the water level of the river in a number of cases. In the event of real flood, the water line needs to be monitored, threatened areas identified and response units managed. Information provided by local personnel helps to assess the situation. An augmented map provides the ideal frame for presenting and controlling all the relevant information in one place and for a team of people to manage the situation."

It's not the commercial monster of Google yet but holds a lot of promise as its developed into a mobile application.

Scott Page is the founder of Interface Studio, a collaborative design office based in Philadelphia.

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