Google Maps

LibanPost Adopts Global Postal Code System


June 18, 2013, Toronto, Canada, NAC Geographic Products Inc. announced that LibanPost - the postal service provider of Lebanon has licensed Global Postal Code System (also called Universal Address System) to establish a nation-wide address database and provide Global Postal Code based postal services in Lebanon.

Before knowing the Universal Address, Mr. Khalil Daoud, Chairman and Managing Director of LibanPost, had worked with public committees for over 10 years to establish an address system in Lebanon without success. Lebanese residents continue using "landmark"-based references to identify the location of their homes, such as “beside the hospital”, “in front of the school”. Postal services rely on locals to deliver mail to households based on somewhat arbitrary knowledge about who lives where.

The introduction of the Universal Address will vastly change the situation. Generated from longitude/latitude coordinates, a Universal Address i.e. an eight or ten character Natural Area Code (NAC) can uniquely specify a house, building or even a fire hydrant anywhere in the world, and can be obtained with a smartphone or an online high resolution satellite image map such as NAC Locator. For example, the Universal Address of Grand Serail is NAC: KXQK NMGG and Lighthouse NAC: KXN7 NMH0. With the Universal Addresses, you can get the turn by turn driving directions from Grand Serail to Lighthouse immediately with NMGG&daddr=KXN7 NMH0.

Unlike conventional addresses, the Universal Address does not need people to assign and is readily available for public use for all location purposes. If it is printed on an evelope of a letter, LibanPost will be able to sort the letter from the world level to final household mailboxes automatically and deliver it right to your home efficiently. In an emergency situation, a given Universal Address can significantly accelerate emergency address dispatching and locating. If you tell the Universal Address to your visitor, he can use a GPS navigation system to get to your home without your directions. Governments can use Universal Addresses to register properties and collect property taxes. Banks and insurance companies can use Universal Addresses to verify the home locations of their clients.

"The adoption of the Universal Address will hopefully solve all Lebanese addressing problems," said Dr. Xinhang Shen, president of NAC Geographic Products Inc., "and it is also another milestone toward the unification of postal code systems in the world."

About NAC Geographic Products Inc.
Incorporated in 1995 in Toronto, Canada, NAC Geographic Products Inc. is a world's leading company in geographic technologies and geo-services, developing GIS/GPS software products and providing APIs for real-time geo-services (geocoding addresses, reverse-geocoding, mapping, routing, etc.) for web applications and wireless location based services, etc.

Lixin Zhou
PR Manager
Tel: +1 416 496 6110
Email: [email protected]

New Google Maps Announced and New Geo APIs for Android

Yesterday Google announced the new Google Maps, including several significant changes. It's going to be available this summer, and there will finally be an iPad version of the Google Maps app. The Google Geo Dev blog tells you how to use the new look for your maps today via the Maps API. The Google Earth Blog (not from Google) shares an entry on Google Earth integration in Google Maps might mean the demise of the Google Earth Plugin. APB also shares and entry about the Three New Geo APIs for Android: Fuse Location Provider, Geofencing, Active Recognition.

Snippets from the announcement: "

  • Every click draws a new map highlighting the things that matter most 
    Like a friend drawing you a map to her favorite restaurant, with only the roads and landmarks you need to get there, the new Google Maps instantly changes to highlight information that matters most.
  • Easier to find the best local places
    In addition to a customized map, we’ve also made it easier to uncover the best local gems. Search results are labeled directly on the map with brief place descriptions and icons that highlight business categories and other useful information – like restaurants that are recommended by your Google+ friends.
  • Amazing imagery for exploring the world
    Of course, no map would be complete without amazing images for exploring the world. The new carousel gathers all Google Maps imagery in one spot enabling you to fly through cities, walk canyon trails, climb mountains, and even swim the oceans. And on a WebGL-enabled browser, like Google Chrome, the carousel is also where you'll find the Earth view which directly integrates the beautiful 3D experience from Google Earth into the new maps."

The best way to get an overview of what's new is certainly to watch this 2 minutes video:

Google Geonews: Google Maps Engine Lite Launched, User Testing of Google Glass Started, and much more

Here's the recent Google-related geonews.

From official sources:

From other sources:

An In-Depth Comparison Between iOS Map Frameworks: Apple MapKit vs. Google Maps SDK

MacRumors summarizes a full entry on an In-Depth Comparison Between iOS Map Frameworks: Apple MapKit vs. Google Maps SDK. Really an informative article, go read it.

From the comparison: "The Google Maps for iOS SDK isn’t all roses, however. McKinlay warns that Google applies usage limits and quotas to their Places Search API, so if your app gets too successful then you get “punished” for it. [...]  There were a few reasons we chose to implement a dual mapping solution. The first was where we couldn’t do everything we needed on the Google Maps so had to keep Apple Maps, otherwise we would be removing features from our app (such as advanced overlays and gradient polylines)! [...]  However, Armstrong adds that MapKit only wins for now: “Ask again in six months’ time and that opinion may have changed.”" 

Google Maps for iOS Receives First Update, Version 1.1

I guess this would normally not be major news, but since a lot of iPhone users rely on it and that alternatives like Apple Maps and Blackberry Maps have not impressed the press so far, here it is: Google Maps for iOS version 1.1 has been released, but no iPad compatibility yet.

MacRumors informs about it: "What's New in Version 1.1:

  • Search your Google Contacts; sign in to have your saved addresses show up when you search for friends and family by name.
  • Quickly search for local places by selecting popular categories such as restaurants, bars, cafes, gas stations, etc.
  • Choose between Kilometers or Miles for your preferred distance units.
  • Note that some features may not be available in all countries."

Google Geonews: New 3D Imagery for Cities, Mapping Meteo Impacts, Google Earth for Research Book, Multiplayer Games, and more

I have a lot of geonews to catchup. You'll get everything that's pertinent (at least from my point of view ;-), but just a bit later than usual. Thanks for your patience!

Here's the recent Google-related geonews. Nothing major, but several interesting items.

From official sources:

From other sources:

Google Geonews: Detailed North Korea in Google Maps, 100,000 New Tours, Android Photo Spheres in Google Earth, and more

Here's the recent Google geonews in batch mode.

From official sources:

From other sources, this time all from the GEB blog:

Google Geonews: Update on Project Glass, Summary of 2012 for Google Earth, and more

Here's the recent Google-related geonews, including the holiday break.

From various sources:

Comparing Apple’s Maps and Google Maps, and Other Related News

Tidbits offers an interesting article comparing Apple Maps with Google Maps.

The article's conclusion: "In the end, I believe that the real area where Google Maps stands out from Apple’s Maps is in transit directions, which I can’t test, but which have been praised by city dwellers like David Pogue of the New York Times, and Jacqui Cheng of Ars Technica, Dan Moren of Macworld, and Andy Ihnatko of the Chicago Sun-Times. Otherwise, both apps do a decent job and do so with entirely reasonable interfaces. Apple’s mapping data undoubtedly isn’t as good as Google’s, overall, but in most cases, I doubt that it will make a significant difference. And it’s now easy enough — thanks to the “via transit” trick — to compare routes in both apps, though I suppose that then raises the issue of which you want to believe."

Related news include:

Uber Weather Maps Leveraging Google Fusion Tables

Google has re-invented maps and GIS. Now we have "Consumer GIS" at a scale and speed that is unprecedented. If you have not played with it, the "Secret Sauce" is Google Fusion Tables (GFT). GFT allows almost unlimited data to be displayed on a Google Map and it is "Clickable". And did I mention it is free!

So what can you build with this? Check out Uber Weather. Built by one programmer with no budget. Amazing!

Google pre-renders GFT data and caches it. The more you use GFT, the faster it gets. So upload your interesting data and make it public. You win, the public wins. If your data would be cool on Uber Weather (UW), send me the link.

Mainstream? What is that all about? Maps and Weather are top search keywords. Combine the two and now we have serious reach! Uber Weather is "maps" and "weather" with GIS "sugar". How about 13,000 "Ski Lifts", instantly on the map at all times. This allows "Visual Search" and discovery at a unprecedented scale.

Game Changing Technology. Since amazing products can now be built and distributed with very tiny budgets, they don't need to be covered in SPAM (Display Ads) to pay for the huge overhead. This is huge. Give the public a choice between the current "Noise" and content that is 100% free of spam and there will be a massive shift in public demand. Be part of it. Help kill spam. Keep the Internet for "Content".

Uber Weather is doing its part. It is a "David & Goliath Story", but it could have the same effect that Netflix had on the entrenched "Blockbuster Video" business model. Did you really like walking up and down the aisles and being spanked if you were late?

Landmax built Uber Weather, here are some related posts with videos that you may find useful:

GIS means accuracy. Accuracy is truth. We need more truth.

Cheers James Swansburg

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