Universal Address Based Location Signature for All News Reports

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:

http://www.travelgis.com/map.asp?addr=8KDB PGFD

Sample location signatures:

Berlin J3 RQ
Hong Kong SH LP
London GZ RK
New York 8T PR
Paris H5 R4
Singapore RM H6
Tokyo VM NX
Acropolis JZ9G P9TP
Arch of Triumph H5SX R497
Arecibo Observatory 9F3J L1PL
Colosseum J16W PZFH
Eiffel Tower H5Q2 R48Q
Forbidden City SNZ PMK
Versailles Palace H592 R40N

Bill Gates 4SCQ-V QX41-6
Elvis Presley 7GX8 NT6V
George Reeves 53WX NNFG
The Kennedy 9479 PX4H
Linus Torvalds 4RB3 QK5N
Phil Spector 54LC NNC1
Playboy 53WQ NNCD
About NAC Geographic Products Inc.

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