[FoRK] Paper vs Digital maps -- tip of an iceberg?

Stephen Williams sdw at lig.net
Sun May 30 19:15:18 PDT 2010

On 5/30/10 1:21 PM, Ken Ganshirt @ Yahoo wrote:
> --- On Sun, 5/30/10, Stephen Williams<sdw at lig.net>  wrote:
>> >  ...  However, Google Maps and Earth provide a much better interface than paper maps, at least if you have a big enough monitor: Cell phones: not really, iPad: just barely, 30" 4Mpixel monitor: Absolutely.
>> >  
> Better interface? In what way?
> Then there's the Form factor. Try sticking that 30" 4Mpixel monitor in your pocket!!!
>          ...ken...

Have you used Google Earth with a Space Navigator[1]?  I bought a pair 
of the home / office versions when they first came out.  If you visit 
Google, you can play with one that has a 3-monitor surround display.
You can zoom from anywhere at any orientation at any distance / 
resolution to any other on the Earth (or Mars) within a few seconds, 
once you get the hang of it.

There will likely be some way to simulate having such a monitor, or 
larger, or the experience of seeing in real life.  In fact, I think I 
just invented a way to do that just now.  I'll have to see if Sony's 
interested unless someone else let's me know they are interested in 
helping me patent and license it before Tuesday.  (Yea, probably this 
idea's not novel.  However, nothing like it seems to be on the market yet.)

[1] http://www.3dconnexion.com/

On 5/30/10 5:23 PM, Jeff Bone wrote:
> On May 30, 2010, at 6:11 PM, Ken Ganshirt @ Yahoo wrote:
>> --- On Sun, 5/30/10, Marty Halvorson<marty at halvorson.us>  wrote:
>>> Digital is not always better.  It is however a lot
>>> more convenient than the analog equivalent.  And I
>>> suspect that's the reason for everything becoming digital.
>> Hi Marty,
>> "Convenient" in what respect?
> Entire western hemisphere in my pocket.  How much storage space would be necessary for the paper equivalent.
> I do agree, actually, with the "display area" argument.  It's essentially a special case of the "form factor is the application" argument.  Physical constraints dictate certain things about how certain tasks may be optimally accomplished.

Current display technology and form factors are sub-optimal, but getting 
better.  Paper maps are mostly a pain.  Sure, they are great at the 
kitchen table of if you have a full-size drafting board at the right 
angle.  A few of you may remember unfolding a large paper map in a car, 
then trying to fold it back the right way, then ending up with holes 
within a few uses.  It's a bit of a challenge to be following multiple 
2-sided carts that similarly fold out while flying a plane.  After 
pre-flight planning, you usually only look at 1 or 2 4x9" sections per 
flight if you can help it.  For instrument flying, the details for each 
airport are on a single-page "plate" to similarly manage the form factor 


> $0.02,
> jb

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