Mapping the World, One Centimeter At a Time

To speak

From tablets to atlases, cartographic innovations have long been underappreciated in geopolitics and everyday life. In addition to navigation, the use of maps contributed to World War II. Circulation maps were used to influence public opinion and mobilize forces. Instagrammers and TikTok-ers use them to go to the best restaurants. In their new incarnation, advanced maps stand to change the future of navigation, logistics and spatial data collection.

Next up is a well-known Japanese startup – Dynamic Map Platform Co., or DMP. The company, which is funded by the government, (1) has a multi-billion dollar capacity to support up-and-coming companies, and includes large companies such as Toyota Motor Corp. between the owners.

DMP creates and builds maps of high definition and three dimensions that are more accurate than the standard ones we know: Those on iPhones, apps like Waze and cars that use GPS. Its data can be used for precision drone flight.

Basic data collection. Interests of Intel Corp. Mobileye relies on crowdsourced information from vehicle manufacturers (they collect it automatically and anonymously). The Japanese company plan allows to have and very short. The data is exact – distance and location in centimeters. Other mapping systems, apart from the Earth’s Geodetic System, are generally closer and rely entirely on sensors. It’s very annoying when Google Maps is thrown in a big place, or when it sends you in all kinds of directions and doesn’t recognize turns.

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In addition, receiving data from third parties – such as car manufacturers – has the risk of entering into privacy and security problems. Or, the explanation from others will not be available. Self-delivered information is also more secure.

Creating these maps is a huge technical effort. Using the global navigation satellite system, or GNSS, exact locations have been determined. Then, cars with sensors and cameras collect and create a data-cloud – or a single point, where each has a Cartesian coordinate (think X-axis and Y-axis). The classification process collects it all and combines the information. It picks up everything, including road signs, structures, barriers, road junctions and edges, even before drivers have arrived.

This may sound like deep technology and a lot of irrelevant information, but graphing and data collection is increasingly central to key security technologies. At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, one of the biggest tech events on the calendar, self-driving cars and self-driving systems are all the rage. They have promoted advances in automation technology and intelligent vehicles. These maps are integrated into drones, windshields and cockpits, transporting passengers to their destinations safely. In China, the rapidly expanding market for such vehicles is expected to grow to 960 billion yuan ($141 billion) by 2025. In the US, a team at the University of Texas Radionavigation Lab is into a signal from Elon Musk’s SpaceX’s Starlink satellite to create. Navigation technology is not independent from the geopolitics of GPS, Russia, China and Europe.

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High definition and accurate maps will eventually allow people to visually immerse themselves in the distance. Increasingly, researchers and academics are using more satellite images and other geo-locating data to see what is happening thousands of miles away. This is also used by insurance companies to monitor operations in offices and warehouses. In recent months, open intelligence has helped identify military movements in Ukraine. Three-dimensional graphics systems such as DMP will eventually allow logistics companies to deliver packages through windows such as social generation, using 3D buildings and road maps, and into warehouses. It will also make electric vehicles work better with accurate information on gradients, routes and chargers. Today’s art is more powerful than it was decades ago.

Currently, DMP has data for more than 30,000 kilometers (18,641 kilometers) of roads and highways in Japan, about 640,000 kilometers in the US and more than 300,000 kilometers in Europe. In 2018, it acquired Ushr Inc., which counted GM Ventures and EnerTech Capital as investors at the time. Together, the two companies committed $100 million to the expansion of high-definition coverage in North America, and one of the Japanese government funds, JOIN. Meanwhile, last year, DMP and JOIN invested about $90 million to expand across North America and Japan. It has registered with car manufacturers and hopes to become an important tool for logistics and equipment providers. General Motors Co.’s Cadillac models, including the CT6, XT6, and Hummer, known for their autonomous systems, have installed these maps.

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As geopolitical tensions intensify, mobility innovations rise and people travel more, maps are all important. Importantly, the accuracy of the data – and increasingly, its ownership – will be important and support the progress of other graphics.

More from Bloomberg Opinion:

The US could defend Taiwan from China – at a high cost: Tobin Harshaw

• Fear of driverless cars? China Has The Answer: Anjani Trivedi

• Tesla can drive itself to speed: Gary Smith

(1) Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corporation for Transport and Urban Development, or JOIN, and Innovation Network Corporation of Japan, or INCJ.

This column does not reflect the views of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

Anjani Trivedi is a Bloomberg opinion columnist. It covers the manufacturing industry including policies and industries in the mechanical, automotive, electric vehicle and battery sectors across Asia Pacific. Previously, he was a columnist for the Wall Street Journal’s Heard on the Street and a finance & markets reporter for the newspaper. Before that, he was an investment manager in New York and London

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