Hitachi and the OGC
Hitachi, Ltd., headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a leading global electronics company with approximately 360,000 employees worldwide. A key business focus for Hitachi and for the Hitachi Central Research Laboratory, an OGC member, is the creation of new technology for social innovation and the realization of a sustainable world society in the areas of information & communications, electronics, life science and measurement technology.
Hitachi has used OGC standards and testbeds for advancing its research in the area of navigation services and products. As early as 2008 the company’s R&D Labs began to explore the use of CityGML for pedestrian navigation on mobile. One of the company's key areas of interest is supporting pedestrian navigation with the same system both indoors and outdoors.
As shown in the figure above, the pedestrian navigation system developed by Hitachi uses OGC standards for both outdoor and indoor location. When a device is outside a building, it uses GPS location technology for device positioning and it uses the OGC Web Map Services protocol to access map images. When the device is inside a building, it can use various indoor positioning technologies and it uses indoor maps that are defined using the OGC CityGML Encoding Standard. The company has developed systems that convert 3D models to 2D maps that are better suited to the computational limitations of mobile devices.
In the system developed by Hitachi, the mobile device user receives routing information and maps. The next figure shows the sequence of calls.
"The OGC’s Web Map Service (WMS) Interface Standard is the most widely used open protocol for serving, over the Internet, georeferenced map images that are generated by a map server using data from a geospatial database," explained Yaemi Teramoto of Hitachi. "Because the standard is widely used, devices using our system are able to access many different data sources. The open standard interface adds value to those data sources, because more users are using them. Such data sharing is a key benefit of open standards."
Hitachi also added to the GetMap structure four additional parameters for displaying navigation symbols. This enables the devices to use additional existing data without extra effort or investment on the part of Hitachi or its users.
OGC standards thus permit the mobile system to benefit from prior investments and to provide in situ navigation services via smartphones.
"Participation in the OGC and other standards organizations helps us to stay at the forefront of market-enabling information technologies," said Yaemi Teramoto, "and we are able to contribute our requirements to the standards development process. We are involved in ISO/TC204 WG3, which is concerned with Intelligent Transport System (ITS) database technologies. In the OGC, we are charter members of the CityGML Standards Working and the IndoorGML Standards Working Group."
For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company's website at http://www.hitachi.com.