November 3, 2006, Toronto, Canada,
NAC Geographic Products Inc. announced the release of the
NAC Enhanced Google Maps - an integration of
the Natural Area Coding System with Google Maps
through the Google Maps API similar to the NAC Enhanced Google Local Search
through Google AJAX Search API. With the NAC Enhanced Google Maps, a Universal Address based location signature
for all news reports now has become feasible, widely available and extremely useful.
As something happens, the first response of most people is to ask when and where which are the most important
information for any event. The when question has been solved after the introduction of clocks and watches, but
the where question for an accurate location remains unsolved. Although NAC enhanced GPS receivers now can tell
the location as accurately as a watch tells the time, such as
Locamagic, the accessibility
of these devices can't be compared with Google Maps that is available to billions of web surfers. With the NAC Enhanced
Google Maps, journalists can obtain the Universal Address of the exact location of any event happening in the
world, and readers can use the Universal Address based location signature to directly get the local detail map
without any zooming and panning. Here is an example of such a news report: "A school bus collided with a
Canadian Pacific Railway truck yesterday (2006-10-17) about 13 kilometers west of Regina, SK, Canada (NAC:
688S RDBD)". With the eight character Universal
Address, no matter it is published on a web page or on a printed newspaper, readers can conveniently read, tell,
remember and, most importantly, use it to retrieve the detail local map and satellite image on
the NAC Enhanced Google Maps.
Many people have already tried Google Maps and are amazed by the detail of its satellite images that can show
individual buildings, houses, and even cars and humans all over the world. Many online news reports have already
taken the advantages to link the locations of their stories to Google Maps to further enhance their readability.
However, the great advantages of Google Maps seem quite distant from the mainstream media - the newspapers
that do not have the capability to embed hyperlinks. Moreover, a randomly given location shown on Google Maps
as referred by an online story is not orally communicatable due to the lack of the efficient description
of accurate locations. Although Google Maps has provided powerful tools for users to pan and zoom the map, it's
still difficult to tell people how to pan and zoom the map to any given location. Even if you are able
to pan and zoom to an exact location, it is still a very time consuming process. All these have seriously limited
the use of Google Maps.
"These shortcomings of Google Maps have disappeared on the NAC Enhanced Google Maps," said Dr. Xinhang Shen,
president of NAC Geographic Products Inc., "because users can directly get the detail local map of any location
and area in the world with few characters of a NAC.
A NAC can be easily quoted, read, communicated and remembered. For example, if a newspaper inserts NAC:
TQ PS into its news related to North
Korea's nuclear test, readers need typing in only four characters on the NAC Enhanced Google Maps to get the map
of the exact location without zooming and panning."
A NAC can represent any area or location in the world. A two-character NAC represents an area about 1000km X 700km
(like a province), a four-character NAC represents an area about 33km X 23km (like a city), a six-character NAC
roughly represents every square kilometer area, an eight-character NAC represents an area about 35m X 25m (like a
building), and a ten-character NAC approximately represents every square meter on the earth surface. Since an
eight-character or a ten-character NAC has reached the resolution of a traditional address, it is also called a
Universal Address, for example, NAC: 8KD7 PGGM
(the Universal Address of White House).
Using a Universal Address (i.e. an eight or ten character NAC) instead of a street address to specify a location
on any location based service can reduce 80% of key input, avoid difficulty in inputting addresses with foreign
characters and eliminate the vast errors from address databases (outdated matches, no matches, duplicated matches,
wrong matches, etc). While street addresses can only specify less than 1% of the locations on the earth surface,
Universal Addresses can specify 100% without any missing locations.
With the NAC Enhanced Google Maps, the user can simply input a NAC into the location box and click "Get Map" button
to retrieve the map of any location or area in the world. The user can also get the Universal Address of any
location on the map as he/she moves the cursor on the map no matter where the map represents and what scale the map
has after appropriate zooming and panning. This seems more convenient than using the text based
Universal Address Lookup Service for 24 countries.
"Now we are expecting that all location sensitive news in the world will include the Universal Address based
location signature no matter they will be published online or printed on newspapers to give readers an accurate
answer to the where question," added Shen.
Example of a location signature link for a web page:
Sample location signatures:
About NAC Geographic Products Inc.
Incorporated in 1995 in Toronto, Canada, NAC Geographic Products Inc. is a world's leading company in geographic
information technologies. In addition to the Natural Area Coding System, the company has developed many important
GIS software products and provides
real-time geo-services (
nearby business searching and
traffic information) for web applications and wireless location based services.
Tel: +1 416 496 6110
Google Maps, Google Local Search, Google, Search Engine, Universal Address, NAC, Mapping, GIS, WEBGIS,
Geocode, Geocoding, LBS, GPS, Location Based Service, Navigation, Locating, Tracking, Searching,
Wireless, Cellphone, Map Grid, Geography, Geographic Technology, Geographic Coordinate,
Longitude, Latitude, Property Identifier, E-911