By Micah BergThe benevolent giant – Google – graced us with the ability to see almost anything on Earth with Google Maps. Governments use it for military and tracking purposes. Businesses use it for directions. Aspiring travelers and photographers use it to find scenic routes and landscapes. A surprising number of people use Google Maps aerial and street photographs to capture humorous moments or to advertise. Even weather and construction have been routed through this phenomenally large program.
Just to add to the already monstrous Google Maps, a team at the University of Maryland wants to up the ante with a pothole and abstruction-sensing application. Jon Froehlich is leading up the operation, using an array of utilities and a research team at the university to concrete his theories for full-blown application. By utilizing a coding community through Amazon to program and patch together the add-on, Froelich hopes to present a finished product in April during the Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Paris.
The system is designed specifically with the handicapped in mind, as broken curbs and potholes generally make travel more difficult, either by foot or by car. A similar effort has benefited the U.K. previously, and it’s still running, full-fledged with an active community.