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Ask Patents is a question and answer site for people interested in improving and participating in the US patent system. It's built and run by you as part of the Stack Exchange network of Q&A sites. With your help, we're working together to find Prior Art on dangerous and overly broad US Patent Applications before they become issued Patents.

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Interactive Map - Is Apple trying to patent 40-year-old GIS methods? - Patent Application - PRIOR ART REQUEST

up vote 14 down vote favorite

Apple recently filed for an "Interactive Map" patent that in every way resembles a collection of technologies and methods known as "Geographic Information Systems" (GIS). 10 minutes of your time can help narrow US patent applications before they become patents. Follow @askpatents on twitter to help.

Claim 1 in particular has been in active use by the GIS community for over 40 years:

A method for displaying a map on a computing device, comprising:

  • Storing information to be displayed on the map in a memory of the computing device, the stored information comprising a plurality of different layers of information, wherein each layer contains a respective type of information;

  • Displaying a map on a display of the computing device, the map comprising a plurality of the layers of information superimposed upon one another;

  • In response to a user selection of a display mode corresponding to a topic of interest, displaying at least one layer containing information that is associated with the selected mode; and

  • Enhancing the value of at least one display parameter for map features of each displayed layer that are associated with the selected mode, relative to a default value for the display parameter.

Likely innovators/publishers(manuals...)/patentees in this vein include Esri, Pitney Bowes and Google.

Please help find prior art from June 5th 2012 or earlier.

Prior art can be any publication (webpage, user manual, paper, book, youtube video, patent pre-grant publication) or patent. It is helpful to establish a date when the prior art was available to the public and a solid reference which can be cited by the USPTO. A citable reference can often be found in a contemporaneous publication about the technology in magazine, blog, or scientific article. Another place to look is The Wayback Machine.

Let's help inform the USPTO!

  • Publication Number: US 20130339891 A1
  • Priority Date: Seeking prior art predating Jun 5, 2012
  • Assignee: Apple, Inc.

Interactive Map US20130339891

What is good prior art? Please see our FAQ.

Want to help? Please vote or comment on submissions below. We welcome you to post your own request for prior art on other questionable US Patent Applications.

2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accept

I have been a GIS professional since 1969. I helped design and program two major GIS software packages. The first was a system called MOSS (Map Overlay and Statistical System). This fully interactive GIS package was deployed in 1978. MOSS had a command line interface that allowed the user to select map layers of interest (including attribute filters) and control the display of these layers at run time. MOSS was in the public domain and is recognized as the first open source GIS project. Therefore, all MOSS capabilities could be consider as prior art. I have copies of user manuals, design documents, and so forth. These documents are also in the public domain.

Carl Reed, PhD

up vote 3 down vote

1987, William Shatner narrates a video about GRASS GIS, a system released in 1982 that covers:

  • Claims 1-7
  • Claims 10-15
  • Claims 17-21
  • NOT claims 16 or 22
  • Claims 23-28
  • Claims 50-54

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Interactive Map - Is Apple trying to patent 40-year-old GIS methods? - Patent Application - PRIOR ART REQUEST

up vote 14 down vote

Apple recently filed for an "Interactive Map" patent that in every way resembles a collection of technologies and methods known as "Geographic Information Systems" (GIS). 10 minutes of your time can help narrow US patent applications before they become patents. Follow @askpatents on twitter to help.

Claim 1 in particular has been in active use by the GIS community for over 40 years:

A method for displaying a map on a computing device, comprising:

  • Storing information to be displayed on the map in a memory of the computing device, the stored information comprising a plurality of different layers of information, wherein each layer contains a respective type of information;

  • Displaying a map on a display of the computing device, the map comprising a plurality of the layers of information superimposed upon one another;

  • In response to a user selection of a display mode corresponding to a topic of interest, displaying at least one layer containing information that is associated with the selected mode; and

  • Enhancing the value of at least one display parameter for map features of each displayed layer that are associated with the selected mode, relative to a default value for the display parameter.

Likely innovators/publishers(manuals...)/patentees in this vein include Esri, Pitney Bowes and Google.

Please help find prior art from June 5th 2012 or earlier.

Prior art can be any publication (webpage, user manual, paper, book, youtube video, patent pre-grant publication) or patent. It is helpful to establish a date when the prior art was available to the public and a solid reference which can be cited by the USPTO. A citable reference can often be found in a contemporaneous publication about the technology in magazine, blog, or scientific article. Another place to look is The Wayback Machine.

Let's help inform the USPTO!

  • Publication Number: US 20130339891 A1
  • Priority Date: Seeking prior art predating Jun 5, 2012
  • Assignee: Apple, Inc.

Interactive Map US20130339891

What is good prior art? Please see our FAQ.

Want to help? Please vote or comment on submissions below. We welcome you to post your own request for prior art on other questionable US Patent Applications.


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up vote 9 down vote

I have been a GIS professional since 1969. I helped design and program two major GIS software packages. The first was a system called MOSS (Map Overlay and Statistical System). This fully interactive GIS package was deployed in 1978. MOSS had a command line interface that allowed the user to select map layers of interest (including attribute filters) and control the display of these layers at run time. MOSS was in the public domain and is recognized as the first open source GIS project. Therefore, all MOSS capabilities could be consider as prior art. I have copies of user manuals, design documents, and so forth. These documents are also in the public domain.

Carl Reed, PhD

edit

This 1977 Publication by USGS would be an ideal summary of prior art including MOSS, but no electronic copies are available. - Bill Morris Dec 21 '13 at 3:56

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