Apple's map printing invention points to enhanced 'Maps' service

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
An Apple patent application published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday suggests the company may be looking to build out its mapping service, as the filing describes a printing function not currently supported by the iOS-only feature.

Map Printout
Source: USPTO


Apple's "Systems and methods for printing maps and directions" patent filing discusses a process of printing out on paper navigation and mapping assets stored on a computer or portable device. While identical systems have existed for some time, Apple's Maps app has yet to support the functionality.

The invention is largely self-explanatory, and calls for a device to print out directions based on a request to do so, laying out a map overview and distinct steps along the route for easier navigation. In one example, the map overview and listings are aligned in columns across a landscape printout.

Mobile devices, like Apple's iPhone, boast GPS positioning systems and software that can create routes and interactive maps, but the company notes these services may not always be available. In some cases, a physical printout that doesn't require a cellular or GPS connection may be needed, but existing methods are not user friendly.

From the filing's background:
"The resulting printout can include a listing of turns, a map overview, and notes that a user may have wished to include in the printout. Printouts provided by existing devices, however, are often cluttered or poorly laid out, and can be confusing. The pagination of many printouts often separate the graphical representation of the route from the list of turn-by-turn directions[?]"
In use, the invention prints out a route from a mapping app in a layout "optimized for directions" where the entire route and corresponding turn-by-turn instructions are readable. Such a layout could be a landscape-oriented paper with a first column shows a geographic overview, with a proposed route highlighted. Callouts arranged on the route are sequentially numbered and correspond with a second column of distinct steps which are represented as detailed map tiles.

Map Printout
Illustration of printout UI.


If the route is inordinately long, with too many directions to fit on one page, a plurality of pages can be printed out. However, the application points out that the first column of each page contains a map overview, while sequential callouts are listed in the second column.

Some embodiments allow for points of interest to be shown and described on the callout list. Information regarding each POI can be located in second column, while callouts are disposed on the route overview.

Map Printout
Illustration of points of interest.


The filing goes on to explain proper scaling techniques, transparencies and other details that would make the printout more user friendly than current solutions.

While fairly banal, the filing does include interesting notations regarding mapping services. For example, specifically stated in the application's language is support for Web-based mapping software. Currently, Apple's Maps app is not available online and can only be accessed by the dedicated iOS app included with the company's mobile devices.

It remains unclear if Apple is looking to bring its Maps assets to a wider audience, but the company may hold off on such expansion until the service's existing troubles are dealt with.

Apple's map printing patent application, which is related to a 2011 application, was filed for in 2012 and credits Bradford Moore, Christopher Blumenberg, Marcel Van Os, Albert Dul and Tiffany Jon as its inventors.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 40
    irelandireland Posts: 17,522member
    That'd be great, honestly, but some kind of street view should be priority.
  • Reply 2 of 40
    l008coml008com Posts: 163member
    Apple? Print-outs? What kind of parallel universe is this?
  • Reply 3 of 40
    kdarlingkdarling Posts: 1,640member


    This would make more sense if Apple Maps ran on desktops with printers.


     


    The whole point of a handheld device is to carry it with interactive directions, instead of using a static paper map.

  • Reply 4 of 40
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,435member
    kdarling wrote: »
    This would make more sense if Apple Maps ran on desktops with printers.

    Hence the mention on Web-based Maps.
    The whole point of a handheld device is to carry it with interactive directions, instead of using a static paper map.

    Still, many people print out routes from Google before hopping in the car. Apple may be green, but that doesn't mean their customers are.
  • Reply 5 of 40
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,435member
    l008com wrote: »

    Nice footer on your website: "Sorry, We Do Not Work On Windows PCs"
  • Reply 6 of 40
    kdarlingkdarling Posts: 1,640member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post



    Hence the mention on Web-based Maps.


     


    That would be very cool if Apple also had a web based map.  


     


    For one thing, it would make it easier for people to do location corrections, such as Google Maps allowed.

  • Reply 7 of 40
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    ireland wrote: »
    That'd be great, honestly, but some kind of street view should be priority.

    Street view, like fly over, is mostly a gimmic. Printing maps I would take priority.
  • Reply 8 of 40
    It's time for Apple to seriously improve options for printing -- anything, not just maps -- from its iOS devices.

    Hope iOS7 will get us there.
  • Reply 9 of 40
    irelandireland Posts: 17,522member
    tbell wrote: »
    Street view, like fly over, is mostly a gimmic. Printing maps I would take priority.

    Meanwhile, back in reality the world uses street view. And flyover is not street view.
  • Reply 10 of 40
    chabigchabig Posts: 622member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by KDarling View Post


    This would make more sense if Apple Maps ran on desktops with printers.



    Or if iPhones and iPads could print...oh wait, they can!

  • Reply 11 of 40
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    They don't have to hold off on adding new features. It's really very technically impressive if you play with it, with all the 3D buildings and such. It's just that the mapping data that is not accurate enough, not that the programs or servers are bad. That is why I think Forstall leaving over it (if indeed that was a factor) was an overreaction.
  • Reply 12 of 40
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,608member


    Printing maps? Har, har, har. Nothing new here so move along. Printing maps has been around for years. Apple has lost its ability to innovate so it copies what others have already done! Gingerbread RULZ!


     


    Sincerely,


     


    Android Fan¡

  • Reply 13 of 40
    thepixeldocthepixeldoc Posts: 2,257member
    I think the biggest thing that this patent points to is a web app, or [URL=http://forums.appleinsider.com/t/157159/apple-promises-to-show-off-new-versions-of-both-ios-and-os-x-at-wwdc-2013/80#post_2316938]iOSX app*[/URL].

    * Just to clarify that I didn't mistype that... link to a previous post I made here on AI earlier.
  • Reply 14 of 40
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,198member
    kdarling wrote: »
    The whole point of a handheld device is to carry it with interactive directions, instead of using a static paper map.

    And some folks choose to forfeit the interactive part because it burns up their battery and their monthly data.

    If you don't have that problem don't use the option
  • Reply 15 of 40
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,198member
    ascii wrote: »
    They don't have to hold off on adding new features. It's really very technically impressive if you play with it, with all the 3D buildings and such. It's just that the mapping data that is not accurate enough, not that the programs or servers are bad. That is why I think Forstall leaving over it (if indeed that was a factor) was an overreaction.

    It was A factor, not the only one. iOS 6 was a hot mess of issues that should not have been present, he was said to be a total ass that wouldn't play with others etc. His alleged refusal to take a PR hit for Maps might have been the final straw but that's all
  • Reply 16 of 40
    kdarlingkdarling Posts: 1,640member

    Quote:



    Originally Posted by TBell View Post



    Street view, like fly over, is mostly a gimmic. Printing maps I would take priority.


     


    Obviously it depends on the user.


     


    Up here in the crowded Northeast, people often use street view to get an idea of what an unknown location is like. Is it residential or city high rises?  Street parking or garage parking?  What do the parking signs say?


     


    Also, it's easy to get lost or delayed by missing an exit.  Especially for my wife when she goes somewhere new, I'll "pre-drive" the major intersections on the kitchen computer or iPad with her, so she knows ahead of time what to expect, from her driver's point of view.   I'm also able to tell her details like, "look for the diner on the corner", and show her what her destination building looks like.

  • Reply 17 of 40
    I think the biggest thing that this patent points to is a web app, or iOSX app*.

    * Just to clarify that I didn't mistype that... link to a previous post I made here on AI earlier.

    iOSx.... eh?


    "By George, I think he's got it!" *


    But, how would you pronounce it?

    ...eye-oh-ess-ex

    ...eye, oh-ess-ex

    ...eye-oh sex


    I: Oooh, SEX!


    "The French don't care what they do actually, as long as they pronounce it properly."


    * Rex Harrison ** playing Professor Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady.

    ** was known on the set as "Sexy Rexy"
  • Reply 18 of 40
    Doesn't iOS Maps already do this? I've printed out my directions once or twice and they look exactly like this. Very nicely laid out and clean. I feel like this is one of those things when the patent is granted after the product comes out.
  • Reply 19 of 40
    thepixeldocthepixeldoc Posts: 2,257member
    iOSx.... eh?


    "By George, I think he's got it!" *


    But, how would you pronounce it?

    ...eye-oh-ess-ex

    ...eye, oh-ess-ex

    ...eye-oh sex


    I: Oooh, SEX!


    "The French don't care what they do actually, as long as they pronounce it properly."


    * Rex Harrison ** playing Professor Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady.

    ** was known on the set as "Sexy Rexy"

    Oh boy... but here goes: if it could be "better than"... for some of us old guys... then go with iOSeX :)

    I already described my vision of it as "slinky and sexy"... so why not? :smokey: --- just "smokin' it" today!
  • Reply 20 of 40
    thepixeldocthepixeldoc Posts: 2,257member
    @DA - "my Fair Lady"...indeed! :D
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