WO2001020507A2 - A method and system for simulating visiting of real geographical areas - Google Patents

A method and system for simulating visiting of real geographical areas Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2001020507A2
WO2001020507A2 PCT/GB2000/003454 GB0003454W WO0120507A2 WO 2001020507 A2 WO2001020507 A2 WO 2001020507A2 GB 0003454 W GB0003454 W GB 0003454W WO 0120507 A2 WO0120507 A2 WO 0120507A2
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Prior art keywords
real
part
location
landmark
image
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PCT/GB2000/003454
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French (fr)
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WO2001020507A3 (en )
Inventor
Robert Cohen
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Realstreets Ltd.
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q30/00Commerce, e.g. shopping or e-commerce
    • G06Q30/06Buying, selling or leasing transactions

Abstract

A computer database (14) is accessed from a remote computer (2), the database storing images (17) elevations of buildings (18) along streets in a real geographical area such as a village. A street within a village is chosen and a displayed image of part of the elevation of buildings along one side of the street is viewed on screen from a viewing position. Information relating to a displayed building can then be accessed. The displayed image may be scrolled so as to display images of buildings adjacent to the part of the elevation initially displayed. The orientation of the viewing position may be changed so as to display an image of an elevation of another building on the opposite side of the street.

Description

A METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR SIMULATING VISITING OF REAL

GEOGRAPHICAL AREAS

The present invention relates to a method and system for simulating visiting real geographical areas and, more particularly, for visiting commercial districts, such as the main shopping areas of villages, towns and cities.

When a person wishes to look up the location of a geographical place, he may consult a two-dimensional line based plan given on a map or a street directory. Electronic maps or street directories are now available and are stored on computer networks which are accessed by remote terminals. A post code of the area required is entered at a terminal and a two-dimensional map of that area is then displayed.

For a person to look up information about businesses / facilities in an area, he may consult a directory of businesses / facilities covering the area required, such as "Yellow Pages""™. Electronic versions of such directories, stored on computer networks, are now available and these are searched by entering the type of business and the name of the town or post code.

However, none of the above simulates or replicates the way a person would physically search an area, such as looking for a particular shop by walking or driving along the streets of a town. A person walks or drives down a street and looks at the elevations of the buildings on the sides of the street until he finds the required shop and if he does not find it he then searches another street. If he has visited the town before he may have a good idea where a shop is located, such as it is in a street near the station. By going to the station, the person is reminded where the shop is which he can then find.

When the person is walking down a street, looking for a shop, he may see another shop and be tempted to enter that shop and make a purchase.

One problem of searching a town in this way is that a person has to visit that town by physically travelling to it and then walk or drive along its streets and if he wants to visit another town he has to travel to that town and walk or drive along the streets there. This is time consuming, tiring and costly.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a method and system for simulating visiting of real geographical areas. According to one aspect of the present invention there is provided a method of simulating visiting of real geographical areas on a computer screen, comprising the steps of: accessing a computer database comprising stored images of at least part of real elevations of real locations or landmarks in real geographical areas; inputting into the database details of a real specific geographical area to be viewed; inputting details of a first real location or landmark within said specific geographical area; viewing on screen from a first viewing position a displayed image of at least part of the real elevation of said first location or landmark; inputting commands to move from said first viewing position to display at least part of another real location or landmark adjacent either side of said first location or landmark, or to change the orientation of the viewing position so as to display an image of at least part of a different real elevation of another real location or landmark; and accessing information relating to said displayed location or landmark.

The step including changing the orientation of the viewing position so as to display an image of at least part of a different real elevation of another real location or landmark may include at least part of the real elevation facing said first location or landmark.

The method may desirably include the step of inputting into the database details of another real specific geographical area to be viewed.

Conveniently, the displayed image may be representative of at least part of one side of a road. The displayed image may include a representation of a road adjoining the side of the road which the displayed image is representative of.

The location or landmark may conveniently comprise at least part of a building. The at least part of the building may comprise the premises of at least one commercial business.

A said real specific geographical area may comprise at least part of at least one residential area and/or at least one commercial area and/or at least one industrial area.

A said stored image may comprise a plurality of related stored images. According to another aspect of the present invention there is provided a method of producing images of at least part of real elevations of real geographical areas, comprising the steps of: selecting at least one real geographical area; selecting where images of at least part of real locations or landmarks are to be taken for each geographical area; producing for each image at least one schematic plan layout showing any real locations or landmarks to be represented in the image; preparing a schematic elevation for each image using said at least one schematic plan; surveying each location or landmark; producing images using said schematic elevations and a surveyed elevation of at least part of each said location or landmark; and producing a computer database of the images including where each image is located in each geographical area and information relating to each location or landmark.

According to yet another aspect of the present invention there is provided a system for simulating visiting of real geographical areas, comprising: a computer database storing images of at least part of real elevations of real locations or landmarks in real geographical areas; computer apparatus for accessing said database; a computer screen for displaying said images; means for inputting into said database details of a real specific geographical area to be viewed on said screen; means for inputting details of a first real location or landmark within said specific geographical area; means for viewing on said screen from a first viewing position a displayed elevational image of at least part of the real elevation of said first location or landmark; means for inputting commands to move from said first viewing position to display on said screen at least part of another real location or landmark adjacent either side of said first location or landmark, or to change the orientation of the first viewing position so as to display on said screen an image of at least part of a different real elevation of another real location or landmark; and means for accessing information relating to said displayed location or landmark displayed on said screen.

An embodiment of the invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:- Figure 1 is a schematic diagram of one embodiment of the invention;

Figure 2 is a schematic diagram of a client computer of the system illustrated in Figure 1 ;

Figure 3 is a view of an example of a screen display on the client computer showing part of an elevation of a street; Figure 4 is a diagram showing a map which is stored in the system and a related elevational image file; and

Figures 5 and 6 are screen displays of the system in use.

Referring to Figures 1 and 2 of the accompanying drawings, the apparatus 1 for running a system for simulating visiting real geographical areas includes a plurality of client computers 2. Each client computer 2 has a screen 3 and interface means 4, such as a keyboard 5 and a mouse 6, and is equipped with Internet browser software 7. Each client computer 2 is connected by a communication link 8, such as by the public switched telephone network or by satellite, to the point of presence of an Internet service provider (ISP) 9. The ISP point of presence 9 is connected to a server computer 10 by an ISP backbone net connection 1 1 comprising routers/switches 12 interlinked by ISP networks 13. The server computer 10 stores a database 14 including images of street elevations. A part of the image of a street elevation is displayed on the screen 3 of a client computer 2 when that computer has accessed the database 14. Only a part of the elevational image of one side of the street is displayed on the screen of the client computer as otherwise the elevational image would have to be reduced to a very small scale to fully fit onto the screen. Other computer systems 15 storing databases 16 of information can be associated with the main server database 14 by being connected to the latter via ISP networks 13 and routers/switches 12. Thus the system includes any associated databases which can be installed on any number of server computers linked to the Internet.

Figure 3 shows an example of a display on the screen 3 of a client computer 2, when the system is in use. A screen may display an hypertext mark-up language (HTML) page and the screen, in this instance, shows a frames page divided into top, middle and bottom HTML frames 46,47,48. The display on the screen 3 is part of the interface means 4 whereby a user moves a cursor 28 on the screen via the mouse 6 and inputs instructions by positioning the cursor on defined regions of the screen display and then "clicking" the mouse in a known manner. This activates a hyperlink which causes another page or frames page to be displayed.

Each frames page comprises a table of cells. The number and/or size of the cells are easily adjusted in a known manner when images/information to be displayed on a frames page are changed. The top frame 46 comprises menus and displays information. The middle frame 47 displays part of an elevational block image 17 comprising an elevation representing part of one side of a physical or real street which includes a plurality of buildings 18. The bottom frame 48 comprises controls associated in displaying another part of the elevational block image or part of another elevational block image.

The top frame 46 displays the name of the town at 21 in which the elevational block image 17 of the street is in, the name of the street at 22, at 23 which side of the street the elevation is of and the range of street numbers at 24 of the block of buildings in view. The top frame 46 also displays the name of the company providing the system at 25 and their Internet address at 26 and advertising space is also provided at 27.

The top frame 46 includes a number of hyperlinks. Hyperlink 40 causes news about the company providing the system to be displayed. Hyperlink 35 causes a plan of the street to be displayed. Hyperlink 37 causes a local map and other information, such as, tourist information or local/ historical data, to be displayed. The historical data may be, for example, about the street being displayed. Hyperlink 38 enables a user to go to another town or city and view images of their street elevations. The middle frame 47 displays part of an elevational block image 17 showing an elevational view of a block of buildings on one side of the street. Each building 18 visible on the screen 3 has a textual description providing its street number at 19 and its occupier at 20, which are located below the image of each building. The bottom frame 48 has a movement control, comprising a scroll bar

29, for scrolling the elevational block image 17 of the street and any adjacent elevational block image so that a different part of the street elevation can be shown as will be explained later. This simulates the user moving in either direction up or down the street to see the other buildings on that side of the street. The scroll bar 29 is a form of screen control which is a known component of typical Internet browser software and which enables the elevational block image 17 to be moved relative to a "window" showing its visible contents in the middle frame 47. The mouse 6 is used to locate the cursor 28 on the scroll bar 29 and to "drag" the scroll bar in a known manner wherein the amount the scroll bar is dragged causes a relative amount of scrolling of the elevational block image 17 in relation to the "window".

A message 30 is displayed in the bottom frame when the end of a particular street has been reached. This is a hyperlink and if it is activated then a map is displayed allowing the user to select another street. The name of any adjacent street and the name of its sides are displayed at 31 and 32. If these streets are stored in the system then hyperlinks are provided so that part of the elevation of the relevant side of the street can be displayed. In this way the act of turning a street corner is simulated. Intermediate or intersecting streets may be navigated in a similar way. The bottom frame 48 also has a hyperlink 33 which enables the user to jump to the next block of buildings on that side of the street. Another hyperlink 34 is provided to enable the user to look at a block of buildings on the opposite side of the street to the block of buildings currently being displayed. Hyperlink 39 accesses help menus to help the user to use the system. Hyperlink 45 provides a connection to chat space which allows a user to leave a message for other users of the system.

A method of producing the system for simulating visiting real geographical areas will now be described.

The real geographical areas, which are to be covered by the system, are selected. These may be cities, towns or villages and may not be confined to one country.

For each area, a conventional street map is consulted and the individual streets, which are to be input into the system, are selected. For each of these streets, diagrammatic plan layouts of groups of individual buildings and any other relevant landmarks or features on each side of the street are produced. The location and relative position of each building or feature and the street number of each building is recorded. The position of any intermediate streets or any interconnecting streets at the end of each selected street are recorded on the diagrammatic plan layouts. Maps of areas for which elevations are to be produced are either scanned into the system as image files or are prepared utilising computer drawing software to form digital maps and one such digital map 41 is illustrated in Figure 4.

Diagrammatic elevations are produced for each side of each selected street using the diagrammatic plan layouts and these elevations serve as guides or templates for use in a later production stage.

Each selected street is surveyed and note is made of the street numbers of the buildings on the street and their occupants. Elevational images are produced for each side of each selected street as line/rendered images. A digital image comprising a scaled elevational drawing of each individual building in each selected street is produced on a computer aided design system or by hand, the hand-drawn drawings being converted into digital image format by being scanned.

Alternatively, elevational images are formed from photographic images taken by a conventional or a digital camera, photographs taken by a conventional camera being scanned to produce digital images. The digital image of each individual building is then produced from these.

The digital images of the individual buildings are assembled into larger digital images forming elevational images 17 of blocks of buildings. A side of each street is substantially replicated by a single or a series of elevational block images 17, utilising the diagrammatic elevations as a general guide or template.

When elevational block images 17 are composed of separate photographic digital images, then these latter images are "stitched" together to form a block image, using image manipulation software, so that aspects, such as, colour, contrast and brightness, of each image are equalised. Any perspective adjustment required, such as correcting perspective errors caused by not using a corrective lens on a camera is also carried out at this stage. Further editing is then made, as required, such as removing people and removing/modifying shadows and street furniture from digital images formed from any photographic images taken.

Where there is an intermediate street adjoining a street, the associated elevational block image 17 has a space 42, to approximate scale, between buildings to represent the intermediate street. The elevational block images 17 also include other landmarks or features, such as street advertising, signage or street lighting. Each elevational block image and their component individual building images are stored in a computer system in any suitable computer drawing file format and are named or numbered for ease of reference during subsequent production stages and for use in operation of the system. Textual description, such as the street number and the occupier of each building is also stored with each building image.

Each elevational block image 17 is referenced to its associated side of a particular street on the digital map 41. These sides are given and comprise hyperlinks 43 which cause the associated part of the elevational block image to be displayed on the screen 3.

Each building represented in each elevational block image 1 7 is also given a hypertext link for accessing the associated textual description. The hypertext link may comprise a hyperlink which causes another page to be displayed showing occupant/business information. If an occupant or business has its own Internet website, which is permitted to be accessed by the system, then the associated hypertext link may include, or be replaced by, a hyperlink to that website.

Data files comprising the digital maps 41 of the areas, the elevational block images 17, the individual building images and hypertext and hyperlink connections are then transferred to the database 14 in the server computer In use, a user accesses the system via the internet browser software 7 on a client computer 2 and the system initially asks what geographical area the user wishes to search. The user is given the choice of selecting an address for an area by entering a street name and town or a postcode, or he finds the area visually. To do the latter, a map of Great Britain, for example, is initially displayed, then a region of Great Britain is selected by activating a hyperlinked part of that map and the regional map is displayed. In a similar way, the user chooses a town on the regional map and a map of the town, which comprises the digital map 41 , is displayed and the user then chooses one side of a street from the town map. The sides of the streets which have elevational block images are indicated differently on the displayed map from those which do not. For example, the sides of the streets with elevational block images may be coloured in red. Activating one of the hyperlinks 43 causes the associated part of the elevational block image 17 to be displayed on the screen 3, as shown in Figure 5.

The screen display has a top frame 46, a middle frame 47 and a bottom frame 48 similar to that shown in Figure 3. The Internet browser software 7 used is capable of interpreting the frames pages and Netscape R™ version 2.0 or higher are examples of such Internet browser software.

As mentioned earlier, each frames page comprises a table of cells. The elevational block image 17 is split back into its component building images. A series of these building images are inserted into respective cells of the HTML middle frame 47 forming an elevational representation of part of one side of that street. Textual descriptions 19, 20 beneath each building represented in the middle frame 47 are inserted into cells in the table which match the width of the image cells of each building.

The user uses the scroll bar 29 to scroll the elevational block image 17 of the side of the street selected. Where the end of an elevation block image 17 has been reached and a building image is required to be displayed from an adjacent elevational block image then the latter is also split up into its component building images and the next building image required is inserted into the relevant image cell in the middle frame 47. Further scrolling causes further building images from the adjacent elevational building image to be inserted.

Thus, the user recreates the view he would see if he looked at one side of a street as he walked down it and the street numbers at 19 and the names of the occupiers at 20 of the buildings displayed on the screen 3 are consequently updated. The part of the elevational block image 17 illustrated in Figure 5 shows an adjoining intermediate street at 52 which can be selected and navigated by the user. The name of the adjoining street and the name of the sides of that street are displayed at 53 and 54 respectively. The displayed name of each side of the street comprises a hyperlink and by activating one of them, the next or end part of the corresponding elevational image is displayed on the screen 3.

If the user wishes to look at the other side of the street he "crosses" the street by activating the hyperlink 34 and the image of the block of buildings opposite are displayed and the displayed street numbers and the occupiers of the buildings are consequently updated at 19 and 20 respectively.

Activating the elevational image of a building activates hypertext and/or a hyperlink, as mentioned earlier, causing information about the occupier of the building to be displayed. Where the occupier is a business, information about their products and/or services and their cost is displayed on the screen, as shown in Figure 6. The user can browse the products and/or services available, see their costs and can make an order. Proprietary "E commerce" software may be linked to the system if required by business occupants to enable secure transactions to be made. Purchases are made by entering credit card details, via the keyboard 5 of the client computer 2, which are transferred to the computer system 15 of the business, if it is linked via computer to the Internet, or to the company operating the navigational system on behalf of the business. Alternatively, purchases are made by telephone or by any other suitable communication system. If a business wishes to advertise its products/services on screen in relation to the image of a building which it occupies then the business can find out about this and the costs involved by accessing the system and activating a hyperlink 55 (see also Fig. 3).

If the user wishes to look at another street in the town, he activates a hyperlink 56 and the digital map 41 is displayed. If the user wishes to search another town, he activates hyperlink 38 and the system returns to its initial starting point of asking the user which geographical area he wishes to search.

Thus a street navigation system has been described in which a user simulates a visit to a real geographical area. The screen 3 displays part of an elevational block image 17 which is viewed from a viewing position located in front of the elevation. The viewing position is consequently moved when an elevational block image is scrolled by use of the scroll bar 29 and the viewing position is re-orientated by being rotated through substantially 180° when a user "crosses" the street by activating hyperlink 34. The system also enables the act of turning a street corner at the end of a street or at an intermediate/ intersecting street to be simulated by activating hyperlinks 31 or 32 (see Fig. 3) or by activating hyperlinks 53 or 54 respectively.

The database 14 being stored in the server computer 10 enables images and data to be easily updated. Also, a large number of people can access the system.

The system may be used to find the location of somewhere as a user is reminded of the location of what he is looking for by seeing images of buildings/landmarks which he is familiar with.

By a user seeing images of different businesses when viewing elevational images, the user may be tempted to activate any of these businesses and subsequently make a purchase.

The database 14 may be used in conjunction with other software to use the data files associated with that software in a variety of different ways. The system may be used by marketing personnel, who wish to market or sell their products or services, to review potential targets by providing a quick visual review of various businesses which are located in any particular street. This allows companies to concentrate and organise their sales strategy and sales force in a much more efficient manner than is currently possible by conventional databases or maps. Estate agents or individuals requiring to deal with residential and/or commercial property may use the system to advertise that a property may, for example, be for sale or to let and a link is provided to a database 16 giving further details.

Government authorities may use the system to link to databases 16 concerning census, rating, ownership or planning information. For example, planning authorities may use the system to advertise planning applications to the public. By inserting the elevation of the proposed building into the system, the impact of proposed developments could be assessed by any interested party. The system provides general building and street information which allows parties concerned with services, such as, street advertising, street signage or street lighting to access information that they require, such as the location and quantity of advertisements or street signs as represented on the elevational block images 17. Fire authorities may use the system to analyse the number of floor levels and buildings adjacent to any particular property for fire fighting purposes.

The system may be accessed to look up the elevational image of a building and an accurate drawing of the building elevation may be downloaded and subsequently used. Thus, the system can provide an authoritative database of accurate elevational information. Whilst a particular embodiment has been described, it will be understood that various modifications may be made without departing from the scope of the invention. For example, any suitable amount of information may be displayed with the part of the elevational block image 17 being displayed and any of this information may be on or near the part of the elevational image being displayed. Any suitable number of screen controls/hyperlinks/hypertext may be included.

When activating an image of a building, an elevational image of all or part of the interior of that building may be displayed. If there is more than one occupier or business in that building then by activating different areas of the image of a displayed building will activate hypertext/hyperlinks which display information relating to the occupant/business associated with that part of the building. Alternatively, a list of those occupiers/businesses may be displayed and the user may then choose the one he wants information about. The part of the elevational block image displayed may be adjusted to show just the lower parts of buildings, such as shop fronts.

The use of frame pages for a screen display, such as the top, middle and bottom frames 46, 47, 48 shown in Figures 3 and 5, are optional.

Screen displays may be modified to be more suitable for children or teenagers.

A textual database may be provided so that a user can enter the area that he wishes to search, such as a post code, and what he is looking for, such as a type of business and the relevant information is then displayed. The textual database may be accessed at any relevant point in the running of the system.

A facility may be provided to allow a user, when looking at part of a street, to find a particular building or service in that street which is not presently displayed on the screen 3.

The client computers 2 may be any type of device which can be connected to the Internet, such as, personal computers, lap top computers, hand-held electronic organisers, portable devices such as mobile phones with the facility for Internet access or dedicated wireless devices specifically designed for Internet access.

The system may be operated from a communications kiosk located in a street or a portable device and may have the facility to locate for a user, for example, the nearest bus or train service or the nearest car parking areas to the kiosk. The system may also allow the user to call for a taxi and automatically provides the taxi company with the time of the call and the required location and/or destination. The system can also be used in conjunction with electronic global positioning technology, so that positioning information can be used to update the visual display elevational images on a hand-held device which can provide information about the current location to a user. This would be particularly suitable for tourist use as the information could be provided in different languages.

Any suitable interface may be provided so that a user can operate the system.

The system has been described for use on a public network, such as the Internet, but it may also be used on a private network. It may also be used on an interactive cable television system. The system may be used on a stand alone basis via fixed or portable devices with the data files being stored and distributed on media, such as compact discs or digital versatile discs. The software for running the system may be stored on the media and/or it may be stored in the fixed or portable device. The image files will need to be formatted to suit the type of system that they are to be used on. For example, where the system is run on the Internet, the images are formatted into HTML pages so that they can be interpreted by the various types of browser software which are used for Internet access.

In the method of production, a visual survey may be carried out of an area in order to select the streets required. The digital images of each individual building may be edited to show only the ground storey or shop front. Alternatively, dedicated images of these may be produced.

Images of street elevations produced may be broken up into images of elevations of smaller groups of individual buildings in order to reduce file size. This may, for example, be done as a result of system limitation, such as the bandwidth or the carrying capacity of data transmission services or the power/data speed of a network.

Claims

CLAIMS:
1 . A method of simulating visiting of real geographical areas on a computer screen (3), characterized by the steps of: accessing a computer database (14) comprising stored images ( 1 7) of at least part of real elevations of real locations or landmarks in real geographical areas; inputting into the database details of a real specific geographical area to be viewed; inputting details of a first real location or landmark within said specific geographical area; viewing on screen from a first viewing position a displayed image of at least part of the real elevation of said first location or landmark; inputting commands to move from said first viewing position to display at least part of another real location or landmark adjacent either side of said first location or landmark, or to change the orientation of the viewing position so as to display an image of at least part of a different real elevation of another real location or landmark; and accessing information relating to said displayed location or landmark.
2. The method as claimed in claim 1 , wherein the step including changing the orientation of the viewing position so as to display an image of at least part of a different real elevation of another real location or landmark includes at least part of the real elevation facing said first location or landmark.
3. The method as claimed in claim 1 or 2, including the step of inputting into the database (14) details of another real specific geographical area to be viewed.
4. The method as claimed in claim 1 , 2 or 3, wherein the displayed image is representative of at least part of one side of a road.
5. The method as claimed in claim 4, wherein the displayed image includes a representation of a road adjoining the side of the road which the displayed image is representative of.
6. The method as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the location or landmark comprises at least part of a building (18).
7. The method as claimed in claim 6, wherein the at least part of the building (18) comprises the premises of at least one commercial business.
8. The method as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein a said real specific geographical area comprises at least part of at least one residential area and/or at least one commercial area and/or at least one industrial area.
9. The method as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein a said stored image comprises a plurality of related stored images.
10. A method of producing images of at least part of real elevations of real geographical areas, characterized by the steps of: selecting at least one real geographical area; selecting where images of at least part of real locations or landmarks are to be taken for each geographical area; producing for each image at least one schematic plan layout showing any real locations or landmarks to be represented in the image; preparing a schematic elevation for each image using said at least one schematic plan; surveying each location or landmark; producing images (17) using said schematic elevations and a surveyed elevation of at least part of each said location or landmark; and producing a computer database (14) of the images including where each image is located in each geographical area and information relating to each location or landmark.
1 1 . A system for simulating visiting of real geographical areas, characterized by: a computer database (14) storing images of at least part of real elevations of real locations or landmarks (18) in real geographical areas; computer apparatus (2) for accessing said database; a computer screen (3) for displaying said images; means (4) for inputting into said database details of a real specific geographical area to be viewed on said screen; means (4) for inputting details of a first real location or landmark within said specific geographical area; means for viewing on said screen from a first viewing position a displayed elevational image of at least part of the real elevation of said first location or landmark; means (6,28,29) for inputting commands to move from said first viewing position to display on said screen at least part of another real location or landmark adjacent either side of said first location or landmark, or to change the orientation of the first viewing position so as to display on said screen an image of at least part of a different real elevation of another real location or landmark; and means for accessing information relating to said displayed location or landmark displayed on said screen.
PCT/GB2000/003454 1999-09-13 2000-09-08 A method and system for simulating visiting of real geographical areas WO2001020507A3 (en)

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