A system that combines maps, digital photography, and the web has been developed by the School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton.
Working with Ordnance Survey, Map Snapper allows the user to photograph a section of a map on a camera phone. The system then verifies the location of the map, and returns an electronic image with points of interest added which the user can investigate further by clicking on them.
Dr Jonathan Hare and Prof Paul Lewis at the University of Southampton's School of Electronics and Computer Science worked with Layla Gordon and Glen Hart from Ordnance Survey’s Research Laboratories to develop Map Snapper.
“If I am out in the country heading for Salisbury for example, the electronic map could give me the location of hotels for me to click on to find out more and could also tell me if there are any festivals or exhibitions going on there,” said Lewis.
The team used image matching technology to retrieve the electronic images and make them available digitally. The University said that the technology initiative could provide commercial opportunities for companies who want to advertise.
“Map Snapper clearly demonstrates the power of new digital content, and yet puts it into the hands of the traditional paper map user”, said David Overton, exploitation manager at Ordnance Survey.