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Universal Address Based Location Signature for All News Reports with Enhanced Google Maps

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#1
benbakelaar

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Just caught this on the Google Maps API discussion group...
http://groups-beta.g...80a5ad67dac0b7f

""
Come and try the Location Signature on the NAC Enhanced Google Maps
(http://www.travelgis.com/map.asp). Everybody can otain the Natural
Area Code (NAC) of any area and the Universal Address (i.e the eight or
ten character NAC) of any location in the world instantly, and get the
local map corresponding to any NAC including Universal Address
immediately. NAC has become the standard, efficient and language
independent location signature. A news report can include the NAC such
as: "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)" to help readers find the exact location on the NAC
Enhanced Google Maps. Here is a press release about the technology
http://www.nacgeo.co...ss/3nov2006.asp.
""

Is NAC an organization with weight behind it? Is this a good idea? Is it re-inventing the wheel?

#2
Hans van der Maarel

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I am highly sceptical...

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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The Natural Area Code is a proprietary geocode system for identifying an area anywhere on the Earth, or a volume of space anywhere around the Earth. The use of thirty alphanumeric characters instead of only ten digits makes a NAC shorter than its numerical latitude/longitude[/altitude] equivalent.

The system is copyrighted by NAC Geographic Products, Inc.


Wikipedia article
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
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#3
benbakelaar

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I am highly sceptical...


Would you be less skeptical (sp?) if it was an open-source idea/movement?

#4
Hans van der Maarel

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I am highly sceptical...


Would you be less skeptical (sp?) if it was an open-source idea/movement?


Yes, I probabely would. If that were the case, I would merely think: "Why on earth do we need another coordinate system? What's wrong with Lat/Lon or any of the other ones?" :P

Seriously, I don't think this will go anywhere. At the moment it's only working with the Google Maps implementation on their side, which is kinda buggy once you start doing a manual drag or zoom. In fact, I found it to be impossible to get the NAC code for my house... I always end up with the NAC code for the bit of sidewalk right in front of my door. You need to do a manual drag to 'freeze' the coordinate display, which makes it go just a little bit off...

What happens if people want to use this commercially? Do we have to pay for the right to reference or use these coordinates?
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
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#5
DaveB

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I agree with Hans. Why do we need another reference system, especially a proprietary one?
Dave Barnes
Esri
Product Engineer
Map Geek

#6
benbakelaar

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Well I agree with both of you on the proprietary-ness of this one being its downfall, but I don't think this is a reference system designed for mappers/cartographers/geographers. It's an alphanumeric coding system, for easy reference with mobile/web/internet devices. I think the idea is great - I live at H3KM 9DC5 (just an example). Quick and easy, no confusion between D M S and decimal degrees and N S E W. C'mon, how many people could remember that (a lot) vs. their lat/long (yea, one sec, I'm at -74.43567... no wait.. 563..).

#7
Dennis McClendon

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As for the "copyright," it's long settled that copyright doesn't protect ideas. If the concept didn't qualify for a patent, the only thing that can be copyrighted is the manual that tells how to do this or a computer program that does it. The classic case in copyright law, in fact, is that copyright on a book describing a particular bookkeeping system doesn't keep anyone from using the system or writing their own book describing the method.

Does anyone remember discussions about 15 years ago of a coordinate system that would internally indicate the area or uncertainty?

The idea was that the earth's surface could be tesselated into regular polygons, each with addresses. An eight-digit coordinate might be sufficient to describe a triangular facet covering northern Africa, while a 20-digit address (starting with the same eight digits) might be precise enough to locate a manhole cover in Tripoli.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#8
benbakelaar

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The idea was that the earth's surface could be tesselated into regular polygons, each with addresses. An eight-digit coordinate might be sufficient to describe a triangular facet covering northern Africa, while a 20-digit address (starting with the same eight digits) might be precise enough to locate a manhole cover in Tripoli.


Hey that's exactly what this NAC code is, if you read the site... interesting! I guess this guy just picked up the idea and is trying to capitalize on it, and counting on people not realizing he didn't invent it, and that anyone can make their own.

#9
DaveB

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If you don't like lat/long there's also MGRS/USNG. B)
Dave Barnes
Esri
Product Engineer
Map Geek

#10
natcase

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As for the "copyright," it's long settled that copyright doesn't protect ideas. If the concept didn't qualify for a patent, the only thing that can be copyrighted is the manual that tells how to do this or a computer program that does it. The classic case in copyright law, in fact, is that copyright on a book describing a particular bookkeeping system doesn't keep anyone from using the system or writing their own book describing the method.



Also note the West Publishing vs HyperLaw et al decision of 1998, in which among other things West claimed copyright for pagination and numbering of public-domain content, and in which the court decided that such "garden variety" organizational changes does not amount to "creative" copyrightable activity. It isn't clear to me how a specific gridding system would fall into this decision; the line for "creativity" which one can copyright is pretty low... note the dissenting opinion at the bottom of the page.

Nat Case
INCase, LLC

Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
maphead.blogspot.com






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