Trazers (aka Trailblazers) is the next generation of a navigation system. It enhances normal map data with specific information collected by the community. It was originally created for the Microsoft Imagine Cup 2006, which is a world-wide software development competition. In 2006 the competition was focused on increasing people’s healthiness. Therefore at the very beginning Trazers was aimed on disabled people who are bound to wheelchairs. The basic idea behind Trazers is to to increase their mobility by providing a navigation system that helps to navigate in a barrier free manner. Besides Trazers is able to provide useful and specific data to user groups, like runner and biker.
All available navigation systems rely on maps that contain data about streets only. Our solution to this problem is to create a large community of users which we call the “Trazers”. These users carry a mobile device (e.g. PDA) and a GPS device and constantly record their exact GPS coordinates. The recorded coordinates are transmitted to a central Trazers server in specific time intervals (e.g. every X second). If the user is currently in an area without WLAN or GSM/UMTS connection, the data is temporarily stored on the smart client and later sent to the server as a bulk load when a connection could be reestablished. The recorded data is analyzed during nightly batch runs. When users use a way a certain amount of time, the server recognizes this because a certain threshold has been reached. The result is a new created trail in the database which can be included in future routing operations. The users are also able to insert specific points of interest to provide specific information for other users. Somone in a wheelchair can provide needful information about steps, including a picture, to other users so the he would be the one and only who has to face such kind of a barrier for the first time.
These details are provided for information only. No information here is legal advice and should not be used as such.