Microsoft Seeks Patent on Longitude/Latitude

Slashdot has got tongues wagging over what it considers in essence an attempt by Micosoft to patent latitude/longitude over the presentation of data. The problem Microsoft says is that latitude/longitude in URL’s can take up too many digits. In the example in its patent application it notes to get one meter accuracy, the URL would have to be 19 charcters (e.g., 122.12926,47.64932). As I understand it, Microsoft is proposing to shorten the notation to base-30 notations so that alphabetic characters could be used thus shortening the URL. Comments on slashdot note that Microsoft would have been better off to using base-60 notations (e.g., 60 minutes in a degree, etc.) to comments that if this was implemented Microsoft would have a proprietary method of interacting with maps.

Microsoft’s Longitude/Latitude Patent Application
Slashdot Article

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