User Case 2 - Mapping in your Amazon Kindle
From OS OpenData developer wiki
Street maps on your Amazon Kindle using OS OpenData Innovation at your finger tips
Using free mapping from the OS OpenData™ service, Lovell Johns has created a range of Street Map Guides for Amazon® Kindle®.
Lovell Johns has been providing traditional mapping products and services for the last 45 years and is now devoting time to looking at the future uses of mapping. The company’s development team was interested in finding out about how the Kindle eBook reader worked. After speaking to the technical team at Amazon they found that mapping on Kindle was something that hasn’t been fully explored. It seemed like a great opportunity.
Liz Murray, Sales and Marketing Manager, explains the process: ‘Our internal development team spent a considerable amount of time improving their skills in MOBI, the Amazon Kindle format. Then, once the map guides were built, we had to consider the best tools for allowing a user to navigate the map content.’ However, it was soon obvious that after the first attempt, the team needed to add additional functionality due to Kindle’s basic navigation. Liz continues: ‘The Kindle, having been created for book reading, is designed to turn pages but not move content up and down. Traditional map reading uses all of these, and for ease of use we wanted to develop something as close to a traditional map product as we could. So we added arrow keys to the bottom and top of each map page, allowing you to go north, south, east and west, all within one click.’ Now, through Lovell Johns’ online consumer brand, mapsinternational.co.uk, Kindle Map Guides to London, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Bristol, Oxford, Cambridge, Portsmouth, Cardiff and Edinburgh are all available. Downloadable within seconds, the guides contain OS Street View® mapping covering the central area of each city. Users navigate using the traditional page-turning technology of the Kindle, plus on-page click-to-navigate tools. In addition, users can navigate the street mapping using the overview map or the street index provided. Liz adds: ‘OS Street View mapping is integral to the range of Kindle Map Guides. It not only displays the vast majority of streets, but also displays points of interest such as landmarks and tourist attractions, schools, train stations and other useful features. The fact that OS Street View is part of the OS OpenData range and thus free to use, means that we are able to create a cost-effective product for the user; our current selling price is only £2.29.’
On the benefits of being able to using Ordnance Survey mapping for free, Liz says: ’Developing future Kindle products without OS OpenData would certainly be possible, however, creating a viable product at a price where a consumer can access the mapping would be much harder. The range of OS OpenData mapping is varied enough to enable us to continue to develop our Kindle Map Guide range into further city maps, and then onto more rural locations using OS VectorMap® District, and our own range of mapping, MapVu Outdoor, which has been developed from OS OpenData specifically for outdoor leisure use.’ The www.mapsinternational.co.uk Kindle Map Guides can be found on Amazon.co.uk