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Electronic maps to give a new view of the city

East China Normal University researchers are making multi-media electronic maps of the city, school officials said, and a virtual version of the city's famous shopping hub, Nanjing Road, is also being planned.


The new electronic maps will give locals access to photos of buildings, traffic signs and city roads across the city. Users click the corresponding place on the electronic map to see the images.


Researchers equipped a vehicle with a video camera, a laser scanner, a computer, global positioning system receivers and other detectors.


The video camera and scanner records images of everything around the vehicle as it cruises around the city.


"The new map will provide a great reference for city police, firefighters and urban planners," said Shu Jiong, a professor at the university and the project's lead researcher. "Locals will also be able to use it."


Shu plans to map Chongming Island this weekend and other areas of the city soon.


Meanwhile, Jing'an District is planning to create an online version of Nanjing Road, officials said yesterday.


Customers will be able to window-shop on Shanghai's famous shopping street online and look up information about thousands of products and brands.


Chief of Jing'an District, Zhang Renliang, said the plan was raised in the hope of giving people around the world a taste of the city's iconic street.


Nanjing Road aims to accommodate more high-end businesses and shopping plazas. Last year, 11 office buildings in the district paid taxes of more than 100 million yuan (US$14.6 million).


(Shanghai Daily December 26, 2008)