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SERVER-BASED METHODS TO SUPPORT OFFLINE MAP CLIENT FUNCTIONALITY

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000237516D
Publication Date: 2014-Jun-19
Document File: 2 page(s) / 178K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Mobile mapping applications typically rely on a network connection. Caching and offline modes can be used to enable use of a mobile mapping application when the network is unavailable. For example, a mobile mapping application can store map data that was used relatively recently to generate a digital map if the mapping application will likely use this map data again in the near future. The mobile mapping application may store the information in the memory of a mobile device. Moreover, although a network server typically provides map data for geographic areas in response to explicit (e.g., “San Francisco, CA”) or implicit (“drive-in movie theaters nearby”) requests from a user, in some cases it is possible to automatically identify geographic areas which the user will likely wish to view on a digital map in the future, and pre-fetch the corresponding map data to an offline cache of the mobile device. In other words, map data in these cases is transferred to the offline cache in advance of the user’s request for the corresponding digital map based on projected need for that information.

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DEFENSIVE PUBLICATION

   SERVER-BASED METHODS TO SUPPORT OFFLINE MAP CLIENT FUNCTIONALITY Mobile mapping applications typically rely on a network connection. Caching and offline modes can be used to enable use of a mobile mapping application when the network is unavailable. For example, a mobile mapping application can store map data that was used relatively recently to generate a digital map if the mapping application will likely use this map data again in the near future. The mobile mapping application may store the information in the memory of a mobile device. Moreover, although a network server typically provides map data for geographic areas in response to explicit (e.g., "San Francisco, CA") or implicit ("drive-in movie theaters nearby") requests from a user, in some cases it is possible to automatically identify geographic areas which the user will likely wish to view on a digital map in the future, and pre-fetch the corresponding map data to an offline cache of the mobile device. In other words, map data in these cases is transferred to the offline cache in advance of the user's request for the corresponding digital map based on projected need for that information.

    It is generally impracticable for a network server to maintain an up-to-date record of map data in the offline cache of a mobile device. The mobile device of this disclosure accordingly manages its own offline cache. In some implementations, the mobile device also can execute the logic for determining which map data should be pre-fetched into the offline cache. In some implementations, the network server can predict which map data the mobile device will request in the future better than the mobile device can make those predictions. For example, the network server may have access to a larger set of signals and be able to execute more robust algorithms. Moreover, in some implementations the network server may more efficiently detect changes in dynamic map data, such as data that describes traffic conditions, weather, current events data, etc.

    As illustrated in Fig. 1 below, the network server implements the logic for determining what map data should be pre-fetched into the offline cache of the mobile device, as well as the logic for determining when the mobile device should check in to report what map data is available in its offline cache.

    In this scenario, the mobile device reports the available data to the network server (Event A). The map data can be stored in the offline cache as map "tiles," or portions defining map areas of a fixed, zoom-level-specific size. Depending on the implementation, the mobile device can specify fewer or more parameters of the map data already stored in the offline cache. These parameters...