hometechnology NewsCan blockchains replace GPS mapping?

Can blockchains replace GPS mapping?

Can blockchains replace GPS mapping?
Profile image

By CNBCTV18.com Mar 29, 2022 9:35:38 PM IST (Published)

The use of GPS-based navigation systems has become a norm these days. Most of us have used Google Maps or Apple Maps when travelling or commuting. It has become an essential technology for the time.When you use mapping services, the Global Positioning System locates your position, maps it in conjunction with your surroundings and then displays it on your mobile device in a real-time interface.

Blockchain technology offers numerous benefits over traditional centralised systems. It provides higher levels of transparency, is less likely to be hacked, and enables faster data processing. As such, multiple industries have either already begun to leverage the power of blockchain or are in the process of doing so.

Recommended Articles

View All

Global positioning systems are the latest addition to the list of business verticals considering the application of blockchain systems. And the benefits of the two verticals merging seems quite promising, especially for end-users.
Let’s take a look at how blockchain technology can augment GPS mapping.
Blockchain-based mapping
The use of GPS-based navigation systems has become a norm these days. Most of us have used Google Maps or Apple Maps when travelling or commuting. It has become an essential technology for the time.
When you use mapping services, the Global Positioning System locates your position, maps it in conjunction with your surroundings and then displays it on your mobile device in a real-time interface.
While this has worked for more than a decade now, the system has its share of problems and inefficiencies. For instance, the data provided by these systems can be inaccurate sometimes and take a while to load on your device. Also, since these systems track your position in real-time, it can lead to a breach of user privacy. Further, from a business point of view, traditional GPS systems can also be expensive to build and maintain.
Many of the traditional centralised mapping entities like Google and Apple have proprietary data that can be outdated. They might not reflect the present geographical conditions of an area, especially with the rapid development of roads, highways, and related infrastructure.
GPS also has a problem when it comes to mapping dense urban environments. Forming interactive maps in localities with tiny lanes and alleys requires individuals from the mapping company to carefully chart each street. This can be time-consuming and cost-intensive. The power of blockchain’s decentralised technology can be leveraged to deal with many of these issues.
GPS mapping requires processing and storing vast amounts of data, and this data is usually stored in a centralised server. This could cause latency issues while accessing and sharing data. On the other hand, blockchain-based decentralised applications distribute data across devices (nodes) on the network. This will reduce latency and ensure seamless access to data.
Also, thanks to a network of nodes constantly approving actions and data changes instead of one centralised entity, the application will have up-to-date and accurate information about a location. And due to the consensus mechanism in blockchains that requires verification from multiple nodes in the network, the data cannot be tampered with.
The biggest advantage of using blockchain-based mapping will be privacy. In GPS-based mapping, users have to send their location data to multi-faceted billion-dollar organisations that can use geo-tagged information for any purpose they deem profitable. They could sell your data to advertisers, and you can do very little about that. However, there are no centralised entities overseeing operations in a blockchain. Instead, your data is simply stored on several nodes within the network.
FOAM and the Proof-of-Location protocol
An exciting blockchain-based protocol has emerged and is being used to address the problems with the traditional GPS-based mapping system. It is called the Proof-of-Location protocol (PoL).
PoL enables the coordinates of mobile devices to be sent to a blockchain network so that other devices can rely on the location data with ease. This protocol offers secure location verification using time synchronisation in a permission-less autonomous network.
One of the most prominent blockchain projects trying to create a decentralised-based mapping network is the FOAM network. FOAM is built on the Ethereum network and uses a service known as geohash to create network addresses that correspond to real-world locations.
The PoL protocol uses radio transmitters, known as anchors, as the network nodes that take part in the location verification process. They are essentially like nodes used in the bitcoin network that participate in the security and verification of transactions.
People in the network can operate these nodes by staking FOAM’s native token. The nodes in the FOAM network connect to each other forming zones that define a specific area of the earth. This helps provide accurate, quick, and cost-effective mapping services.
Check out our in-depth Market Coverage, Business News & get real-time Stock Market Updates on CNBC-TV18. Also, Watch our channels CNBC-TV18, CNBC Awaaz and CNBC Bajar Live on-the-go!

Top Budget Opinions

    Most Read

    Market Movers

    View All
    Top GainersTop Losers
    CurrencyCommodities
    CompanyPriceChng%Chng