Google Maps For Mobile Now Lets Cyclists Avoid The Hills

Good news for cyclists everywhere: Google Maps for mobile now provides you with an elevation chart of its routes, so you can choose to avoid the hills — or take them on.


Quantum Positioning Could Be A Radically New Sub Navigation System

We take GPS so much for granted on land that it’s easy to forget where GPS doesn’t work — like deep underwater, where only strange sea creatures and submarines roam. Enter the bizarre new world of quantum positioning, where supercooled atoms could be the future of navigation.


Our Electronics Are Messing Up How Birds Navigate

The air is thick with electromagnetic noise these days. AM radio waves, the electromagnetic hum of computers — it’s invisible to us, but birds seem to detect them with their internal magnetic compass. A new study finds that electromagnetic noise disorients European robins, raising the intriguing and frightening possibility that our cities and their signals could be disrupting the annual bird migration.


Navigate By Barcode And Never Get Lost Again

Libraries have terrible maps; supermarkets and department stores have bad signage; all of them have a built-in system for navigation that we don’t use: barcodes.


Amazing Ancient Viking Sun Compass Even Worked After Sunset

Even the best scout prefers to navigate during the day. The Vikings, apparently, would have laughed at such a preference — according to new research, the North Atlantic seafarers’ sun compass was so advanced it even worked after dark, thanks to clever engineering and mystical crystals.


No GPS Signal? No Problem: This Little Chip Knows Where You Are

GPS is a godsend when it works. Problem is, there are plenty of places it doesn’t work — tall skyscrapers, concrete overpasses, and other huge structures all block the satellite signal you need to navigate. Luckily, Swiss company u-blox just devised a chip that keeps you on course when the satellites drop out, using the most old-fashioned of navigation techniques: dead reckoning.


14 Design Trends For 2014

Just as we did a year ago, I’m kicking off 2014 with a list of design trends I expect to gain ground over the next 12 months. The world of interactive design is an extreme fluid in terms of what’s determined as a staple of good design from year to year.


Why The World Needs OpenStreetMap

Every time I tell someone about OpenStreetMap, they inevitably ask “Why not use Google Maps?”. From a practical standpoint, it’s a reasonable question, but ultimately this is not just a matter of practicality, but of what kind of society we want to live in. I discussed this topic in a 2008 talk on OpenStreetMap I gave at the first MappingDC meeting. Here are many of same concepts, but expanded.


Waze Has New Celebrity Voice Navigation

Who wouldn’t want Kevin Hart yelling accurate but somehow disparaging directions at them while they’re trying to drive? No one. So Waze made a deal with Universal Pictures to get celebrities talking at us while we’re lost.


LED Carpets Guarantee You'll Never Get Lost In An Airport Again

With a development that will surely appeal to airports, Philips has announced a partnership with flooring manufacturer Desso to produce a light transmissive LED-powered carpet that can be used to display warning messages, directions, or even fancy glowing designs. And airports are just the tip of the glowy-floor iceberg.