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# The "What is That?" travel helper

Use your phone to identify what a building/structure is from a distance
 (+5, -1) [vote for, against]

Have you ever been on a vacation and wanted to get more information on what the building(s) is that is located far away?

By using your cellphone you could point at the building structure (as long as you had a line of site, the building could be any distance away) and with the aid of your cellphone's GPS, accelerometer, and camera it could help pinpoint what exactly that building/structure is....it could tell you the exact address, and what it is (e.g., a Museum open to Tourists and gives hours of operations). Half-baked?

Here are more details if interested...

MORE DETAILS:

For example, maybe you are "traveling" in Paris and while on the Eiffel tower you look around the city and by using your camera you focus on a particular building and with the current phone's orientation (identified by the accelerometer) and your GPS position it could then use an algorithm to calculate the distance away the building exists from you and determine that object's true GPS location and from there, collect information about it to be displayed to the user.

 — quantass, Jan 26 2008

What's that hill? What_27s_20That_20Hill_3f
[borisbarp, Jan 27 2008]

 oh good you repaired the grammar.

 lets start again.

 is everybody sitting comfortably? lets read the idea!

(I used to work in a school you know)
 — po, Jan 26 2008

//Have you ever been on a vacation and wanted to get more information on what the building(s) is that is located a far away?// no!
 — po, Jan 26 2008

//maybe you are "traveling" in Paris // Does this mean you're "not really" traveling?
 — MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 26 2008

//lets start again// - let's. Prepares dunce's cap.
 — xenzag, Jan 27 2008

hee hee. actually its the first sentence, I'm most ashamed of. hee hee.
 — po, Jan 27 2008

 //actually its the first sentence, I'm most ashamed of.//

 Gr., Pnctn: "actually, it's the first sentence I'm most ashamed of."

Also, I don't think you can be ashamed of someone else's actions, unless (perhaps) they're your child. <Grits teeth and pointedly doesn't mention capitalization>
 — MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 27 2008

my first sentence, twit!
 — po, Jan 27 2008

 Ah. Right. As you were, then.

<school-child joke for [P]o> "What's the capital of [P]ortugal?" "[P], miss." </s-cjf[P] >
 — MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 27 2008

I have a few questions. How can an accelerometer determine the direction that you're facing? How does the device decide which, of the many buildings in the frame, is the one you're interested in? (It might be logical to assume that you're more likely to want to know about Truro Cathedral than Marks and Spencer's multi-storey car park, but you never know.) Having done that, how does it determine the distance? Why is a camera involved, particularly one built into a cell-phone?

Why not just have a device that accurately determines location and height (GPS receiver), direction (digital compass) and azimuth (tilt sensor), in a similar form to a telescope. Point it at your edifice of choice and press the button marked 'Button'. It queries a database (either held in the unit and updated as necessary, or via the internet) and returns your result.
 — angel, Jan 27 2008

I have little use for pointing my phone at buildings, but if I could point at people . . . I could be persuaded. I'd need the "accelerama-obama-mama" to provide: name, address, phone, true age and other relevant proclivities of my target. Perhaps it could include more in depth data, e.g. whether the target had ever visited the Eiffel Tower, and, if so, what her subconscious thought processes revealed. Professional interpretation of those thoughts would make the device prohibitively large and costly, given the price and volume of bull that necessarily accompanies psychological opinion. I guess, regrettably, the utility of the "Travel Helper" would only be as good as the common sense and insight of its user.
 — Arcana, Jan 27 2008

 Sp.: comfortably

Also Pnctn: 'Let's start again.' (Or, if you prefer 'Let's start again!', but certainly not 'Let's start again?' - unless this is a typographical representation of the famous Australian high-rising terminal).
 — MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 27 2008

 // the famous Australian high-rising terminal //

Would that be the one at Kingsford Smith airport ?
 — 8th of 7, Jan 27 2008

That wasn't the one I was thinking of?
 — MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 27 2008

Which leads us further afield from the original topic with the question: who is Kingston Smith?
 — MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 27 2008

Ah, right. I wonder if he ever met Bobby Luton or Micky London-City?
 — MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 27 2008

sp: "Kingston Smith" corrected to "Kingsford Smith"
 — 8th of 7, Jan 27 2008

Luton airport and London-City airport are provincial, ah, airports in England.
 — MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 27 2008

We do a lot of that 'round here?
 — MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 27 2008

 — MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 27 2008

[po] & [MaxwellB] - "actually, it's the first sentence I'm most ashamed of." - you mean "...of which I am most ashamed".
 — hippo, Jan 27 2008

 // London-City airport //

That's not an airport, it's a stone aircraft carrier with no arrestor wires and a shorter than average flight deck. The approach plate is a bitch (Because it's squashed down below the TMA for the LHR 28 runways), and ther noise abatement departure is even worse. Only a fool would try to land on it in anything bigger than a microlight. Kai Tak is an easy ride by comparison.
 — 8th of 7, Jan 27 2008

 http://www.mobvis.org/

I thought the idea was a little familiar, don't work with hills, though, so maybe a scheme to build unique buildings on all hills everywhere should be undertaken, kind of pyramid building scheme version 2, lot of little ones, rather than just a couple of bigs ones. They could play Walk like an Egyptian on the onsite music system..
 — random_patenter_syndrome_victim, Jun 26 2009

//That's not an airport, it's a stone aircraft carrier with no arrestor wires and a shorter than average flight deck...// It's exactly this perception that keeps London City a haven of calm in the otherwise rancidly sweaty and nerve-jangling waitathon that is international travel - A perception I strongly encourage you to continue to perpetuate. Plus, the rapid descent having barely skimmed the apex of One Canada Square is rather fun - or not - yes - actually, it's horrible, horrible horrible. Probably best to swerve the whole thing. Yes, that's what I'd do.
 — zen_tom, May 25 2010

The view from the right hand seat is best described as "educational" in that it teaches you NEVER to do it again.
 — 8th of 7, May 25 2010

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