'The Flying Carpet' (more like 'Map Carpet')
This is somewhat related to both mapping and tourism, but mainly I just thought it was really cool, which is why I'm blogging it! =)
via Engadget: The Flying Carpet
"Digital imaging offers the ability to create fantastic images and use them in new ways by creating spaces to transform perceptions and indeed create whole new environments.It's not enough to just read the description, you've really got to see the photos for yourself to get just how amazing this looks! Imagine stepping off the plane at Auckland International Airport and then seeing all of Auckland laid out like this under your feet... If you want to tie in the technology element, you could have RFID tags embedded within certain attractions shown in the carpet, and allow devices to fetch more information about them. Better yet, you could just use a cameraphone to take a photo of the bit of the carpet that looks interesting, and it will automatically detect what the POIs are, maybe admission prices if that's applicable, driving directions, everything...
Alavi’s latest project is indeed likely to inspire a myriad of ideas from creatives all over the world when they see how he had an aerial view of the Sacramento River woven into a carpet for the floor of a pedestrian bridge connecting the Sacramento International Airport terminal to the parking garage. It is indeed, a “flying carpet” "
Getting a bit more advanced and going into the augmented reality field, you could use a cameraphone or something to pan over the carpet, and the device will be able to overlay street names and tags on the digital screen. How cool would that be? The total seamless integration of tangible and intangible - technical issues aside, this could really create an incredibly immersive, fun, and most importantly value-adding experience for the traveller!
This is something that would definitely appeal not just to the techies but the mass market as well - actually, it would probably make more sense for the non-geeks, as long as the digital media part is easy-to-use, because it has a tangible element that they are in control of. I can see it being a great learning tool too - imagine a geography classroom carpeted with this sort of aerial map, and how that could be used as a teaching tool! The other option of course is to just have a normal vector map carpet (like in the Channel 9 MSN Virtual Earth video) which would be easier for our brains to comprehend spatially.
In general though, the idea is just really cool, it would definitely be great to see something similar here in New Zealand! =D