Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The definition of “easy usage” that Locapoint aim to be (The Story of Locapoint: 4)

The definition of “easy usage” that Locapoint aim to be

I have to define the meaning of “easy usage” for Locapoint, in another word, the significance of existence of Locapoint.

First, I re-consider merits and demerits of traditional latitude/longitude format. One of demerit is of course its length. That is why many ‘geo-codes’ are developed. In addition, other demerits are

1.Needs two data (latitude and longitude) to specify a location
2.Variable formats
3.Variable datum

On the other hand, merits are
1.Can be used at any precision level
2.Global availability
3.Values and physical location is continuously related. Increase or decrease in value in latitude/longitude can be intuitively related to physical location movement to North, South, West, and West.
4.Can locate on map, without electronic devices

Reviewing characteristics of traditional Lat/Lon format, it is not bad. Many ‘Geo-Codes’ is certainly shorter than Lat/Lon, but sacrifices most merit of Lat/Lon format. May Geo-code require electronic devices to encode/decode, and code-place relativity is not intuitive.

When I start developing Locapoint, I was about to startup a kind of ‘distress call dispatching service’ business. So, Geo-code that can’t be easily decoded into Lat/Lon without electronic devices is out of my option, because I mainly consider emergency or distress situation usage.
I also focuses on audio recognize ability. I imagine a emergency situation, digital devices are down or out of battery, and only you can use is ‘primitive devices’ such as telephone, walky-talky, Radio communication, or similar ‘analog audio’ devices.
If Geo-code is confusing, miss-listening the code could cause fatal result.

From this viewpoint of “easy usage for human”, I require Locapoint following restrictions.

1. Easily decodable to latitude and longitude with calculator.
2. Easy to read, say, listen.
3. Global availability.
4. Enough precision (hopefully, less than one meter = 3 feet)
5. Relativity between code value and physical location is intuitive.

These are very difficult conditions to realize. How other Geo-Codes is doing. What is merit and demerit of them?

Next, I’m going to introduce other ‘Geo-Codes’.