[Geowanking] Location encodings, URL schemes

Andy Armstrong andy at hexten.net
Thu Feb 17 14:51:32 PST 2005

On 17 Feb 2005, at 22:39, Daniel Smith wrote:

>> Somebody please tell me either that this already exists or suggest 
>> why it shouldn't :)
>> Start with a compact alpha-encoded representation for a latitude, 
>> longitude pair. I think this was discussed recently - basically you'd 
>> encode each as a base 26 fixed point number using letters as digits 
>> and then interleave the latitude and longitude string so that 
>> 'astbfqklzp' would be a more precise encoding of 'astb'. Psuedocode 
>> below[1].
> Here is something to consider that is more readable, and that
> includes altitude and time...
> I wrote up something a long time ago - ThereThen addresses:
> http://thereandthen.org/

It's not quite the same though is it? You're using regular URLs which 
implies either that all such URLs are served from a single domain or 
that the domain name part has to come from somewhere. I'm talking about 
a scheme in which there's a single canonical URL for each location and 
decisions about how that URL is displayed are delegated to the user 

It also just occurred to me that under the scheme I'm suggesting


is actually a physical place :)

Who knows what the real estate implications of it gaining popularity 
might be...

> The feeling I got was that the locals here are very much
> into the RDF/XML-centric mode, and weren't willing to
> consider the idea of making Time/Location URL aliases to
> existing web resources.  That doesn't bother me.  The scheme
> works out to be a nice way of adding value to existing
> web resources, without having to change anything about them.
> I avoided as many localisms as I could (altitude is in meters,
> I stick to ISO 8601 for time, I avoid Zip/Post codes, etc.).
> A happy accident is that lat/lon/alt 0,0,0 is in the middle of
> the ocean, and makes for a convenient default.
> The 3 axes that a TT address ends up expressing are
> "DOLT" ... DOmain, Location, Time.
> So that's my yearly mention of it :-)

I'm pretty sure we're aiming at different things. Can give a brief 
usage case for your scheme? How do I decide which server I'm going to 
look at?

Andy Armstrong, hexten.net

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