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Google: Artificial Intelligence and Navigation

Ed Parsons
Friday, January 20, 2023, 1:30 pm – 3:10 pm

OSUN's GeoHub project is inviting you to join a talk by Ed Parsons, tech evangelist at Google, who will explore how Google Maps uses Artificial intelligence (AI) to change the way people find their way around cities.

Maps are more used today than at any point in our history. Many of us use maps every day, some many times a day, as access to maps delivered via an app on the mobile devices we all carry are as much a part of our lives today as credit cards and reading glasses! The term map itself is perhaps no longer appropriate as the maps are in-fact visualizations of massive real-time databases that mirror the world around us.

AI is a critical part of what makes Google Maps helpful. Google uses AI not only to create geospatial data but also to gain real-time insights into the world around us.

AI allows mapping roads over 10 times faster than it was possible five years ago. Without scarifying accuracy, AI models help map dense urban features, understanding not only what the objects are, but the relationships between them — like where exactly a street ends and a sidewalk begins. AI and navigation information are used to predict traffic and determine routes, as well as to identify hard-braking events — moments that cause drivers to decelerate sharply and are known indicators of car crash likelihood — and then suggest alternate routes when available. 

AI is driving a shift towards multi-model navigation and mobility solutions. It is also used to develop innovative user interfaces based on visual positioning.

Ed Parsons has spent more than 20 years working in the world of geographical information systems (GIS), both in universities and in industry with companies such as Google and Ordnance Survey. In 2006, Mr. Parsons set up his own company, Open Geomatics, and, since 2007, he has been Google's GeoSpatial Technologist, which includes developing and promoting products such as Google Maps, Google Map Maker, and Street View.

All students, faculty and staff members are welcome to attend!

So, book your calendar for January 20 (13:30-15:10 CET), and indicate your interest to participate through the registration form. Details on how to join the event will be shared with registered participants separately. 

We look forward to having you join us!

The Environmental Systems Laboratory (Syslab) aims to be a focal point of the University geospatial research and teaching activities. Syslab brings together faculty, researchers and students from various units interested in application of geospatial methods and technologies, such as interactive online mapping, satellite imagery, crowd-sourcing, and mobile technologies.