WhereIs.com has been working with Melbourne University to add landmarks to their online database, so instead of being told to turn right at the roundabout, you can be instructed to turn right at the Post Office. This has the potential to get me excited by mapping again!
Think about it – how many times have you been driving along listening to your satnav telling you to turn right in 20 metres, only to find that you've passed the street already. Either that, or your eyes are glued to passing street signs, hoping for some indication of where to turn.
Getting navigation based on easily identifiable landmarks would make navigation so much easier. When you verbally give somebody directions, you don't tell them how many metres to turn, you point out what they should look for when they need to turn. This development on WhereIs would offer the same thing...
The problem is that at the moment it's only for turn by turn directions from WhereIs.com. So no voice directions, just pre-planned routes mapped out online. There are about 170,000 landmarks at the moment, but that will grow as time goes on.
There's a whole heap of science behind the change, with something about spatial cognitive recognition being used to make directions easier to understand. But regardless, I can't wait for WhereIs to jump on this in their GPS mapping software. I'd pay for it.