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Google applies for patent that identifies your location by using a snapped photo of a landmark

Posted: , posted by Alan F.

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Google applies for patent that identifies your location by using a snapped photo of a landmark
Google has filed for a patent on a way to help those who are lost, find their current location. By snapping a picture of a local landmark, the person who is lost sends the photo to Google where the Mountain View based firm's servers go through the snapshot seeking a match. If a match can be made, the lost person's position is sent to his mobile device.

With GPS, the whole process might seem a little redundant, but there are times when the GPS on your phone or tablet just doesn't work or the information isn't accurate for one reason or another. Besides, we really can't imagine anything being as simple as snapping a picture. And the diagram from the patent application makes so much common sense that it is hard to imagine that a patent attorney was involved in the filing.

Google seeks a patent for this process
In the example on the filing, we see a rather odd-looking drawing of a man who is lost.; So he snaps a picture of a tall building nearby and uploads it to Google's servers where the image is matched up against a repository of images and textual content. A match is made and the building is identified as the Dain Rauscher Plaza. The lost man is sent his address and directions as well as a listing of nearby restaurants and attractions.

The diagram also shows another use for the technology. In this case, someone is at home and is planning a trip to Minnesota. So she takes an online photo of the Dain Rauscher  Plaza and by running it through Google's servers, she receives flight information to Minnesota, possible sightseeing tours and what the history books say about the region.

The application, for patent number 8,131,118, was originally filed in January 2008 and the inventors of record on the paperwork are Yushi Jing and Jian Yuan, both of Mountain View.

source: USPTO via Engadget

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