Shanghai sets sights on sleek map for Expo

Shanghai sets sights on sleek map for Expo

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The city government plans to invest millions of yuan to create a multilingual “digital map” of Shanghai, which will include information about streets and buildings to entertainment venues and will be convenient for the 70 million people expected to visit the World Expo 2010.

“It will give directions to a shopping mall or an amusement park,” Sun Jianzhong, a professor of the Shanghai City Development Research and Information Center, said yesterday.

The electronic diagram, which can be viewed either through a computer or a mobile phone, will also help increase the efficiency of firefighting, medical aid and enforcement of public security, researchers said. Lin Zongjian, director of the Chinese Academy of Surveying and Mapping, said, “When the map is ready (before the Expo), an ambulance will be able to reach patients faster while police can locate criminals quicker.”

Although the center and other government departments started research three years ago, they have been updating their brainchild for the fair. Researchers are relying on self-designed spatial remote sensing equipment, either airborne or on satellites, to collect a series of key data, including the city’s green coverage, air quality and construction density. Then, researchers need to pack them into a special software program which is easy to understand. “Like compiling a dictionary, we have to constantly update its contents to meet the new situation,” Sun added.