Home of the Martian Area Coding System
Mars is a fascinating planet for scientists, because it is similar
enough to Earth that it may reveal a great deal about the early
history of our planet. There are many questions about Mars puzzling
us: What were early conditions on Mars like? How similar to Earth?
For how long was liquid water available at the surface and how far
did chemical evolution proceed? Where is all the water today? Did
life ever evolve and, if so, did it succumb to the cold desert
climate that Mars now has or did it retreat to niches yet to be
We want to know the answers to these questions because they are
not simply of academic interest -- the need to understand our
place in the universe has been a challenge to philosophers
throughout the ages. We may even consider the possibility to
immigrate to Mars in the future.
Mars is like Earth with huge amount of data that we have to collect,
store, retrieve and analyze. The technologies to optimize these
massive data are in developing or to be develop. However, we have
to learn a lesson from Earth on which people have established very
innefficient methods to represent areas and locations which have
severely blocked the introduction of GPS technologies used in daily lives.
What we have now in representing locations and areas are two options: one
is to use conventional addresses and place names, and the other is to use
geographic coordinates such as longitude/latitude, UTM, etc. Using conventional
addresses and place names to specify locations and areas has limitations:
they are not available everywhere in the world (actually, conventional addresses
are available at less than 1% of locations in the world) and are also
language dependent. Using longitude/latitude to specify locations is
blocked by the difficulties of long digits that are nearly useless to consumers
(actually, consumers never use these geographic coordinates directly).
These problems have created huge inconvenience for consumers to use GIS (rely
mainly on longitude/latitude coordinates), GPS (rely on digital maps that are
difficult to remember and communicate) and printed street maps (rely on street
indexes that are not related to geographic coordinates). Although, a very
efficient system called the Natural Area Coding System has been
introduced to unify all addresses, geographic coordinates, area codes and
postal codes, it will take quite a long time for consumers to adopt it.
As the information from Mars is quickly reaching Earth, people should avoid the
problems right at this very beginning. Therefore, we developed a system called
the Martian Area Coding System - a clone of
the Natural Area Coding System. With
this system, every area or location (even a 3D space block) on Mars can be
uniquely represented with one unified and highly efficient code called Martian
Area Code (MAC). A MAC can used as an accurate address for any spots on Mars,
as an area code to retrieve its map or make a location based search in an area,
and can be directly pinpointed on all maps with Martian Map Grids.
If we start using the Martian Area Coding System now, we will make all the
location information highly efficient, consistent, connected and optimized.
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