Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Map Code

Here's another attempt at a global reference system. MapCode has assigned short postcode-like codes to all parts of the globe. Though its method is not fully described it does seem to be systematic - for instance, the position with mapcode GUY 9Z.LK is located between GUY 9Z.LJ and GUY 9Z.LL, each separated from the other by a few metres. It apparently produces more than one version of a mapcode for a given location. One version includes the country code, as in the examples above, and another is an international code 'independent of territorial borders'. This seems useful, though it's not clear why some locations have four versions of a mapcode. However, using any one mapcode related to a location, consistently gets the same location. With its consistent framework, the shortness of mapcodes seems to be a strength - GUY 9Z.LK is indeed easier to remember than '6.81726 deg N, 58.15884 deg W', and potentially equally useful in the many ways georeferences are used today. The system is apparently in use by a stated 50M car navigation devices.

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