Turn left after the yellow tree

On March 10th, Navitime Japan added aerial photography maps to its personal walking/car route-finder mobile phone app. It complements the current vector maps, with real shapes and scenery, in an effort to bring more precision to the users.

– The first such service in the world
– The pictures are high-res, low-altitude pictures (rather than satellite)
– Service covers 90% of the population
– Traffic jam information can also be displayed, live, on the maps.
– Maps can be scrolled, zoomed in and rotated like the vector maps.
– Service is intended for FOMA phones with Unlimited data packet transfer plans (called Pake-Houdai).
– Only available for NTT DoCoMo FOMA 900i and 901i series mobile phones at the moment, while it is likely that the service will be propagated to the other carriers in the future. For info, AU were the first ones to make use of the NaviWalk technology of Navitime since most of their phones come with a GPS chip. By contrast, only recent FOMA 3G phones have GPS chips embedded in them.
– Service costs between 210 and 315yen a month.

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  • Aka.me

    Based in Paris & Tokyo, Paul Baron is a senior product manager for hire. Ex-@AQworks. Co-founder of cultural platform Tokyo Art Beat.
    Service design, interaction design, startups, user research.
    Posts a few times a decade since 2003.

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