Title:
Navigation device and method for displaying navigation information
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method of displaying navigation information and a navigation device programmed with a map database and software
    • operable to assign a name to a country or a city or a road and display said name on a road navigation map,
    • operable to assign a language to a displayed text using a user interface, and
    • operable to simultaneously display said name on said road navigation map
      • as a first text in at least one of a local language and a local character system
      • and as a second text in at least one of said assigned language and a assigned character system corresponding to said assigned language.



Inventors:
Tertoolen, Simone (Amsterdam, NL)
Application Number:
11/907247
Publication Date:
07/10/2008
Filing Date:
10/10/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
707/E17.121
International Classes:
G01C21/00; G01S19/48; G06F3/14
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
HELLNER, MARK
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
TOMTOM INTERNATIONAL B.V. (REMBRANDTPLEIN 35, AMSTERDAM, null, 1017CT, NL)
Claims:
1. A navigation device programmed with a map database and software operable to assign a name to a country or a city or a road and display said name on a road navigation map, operable to assign a language to a displayed text using a user interface, and operable to simultaneously display said name on said road navigation map as a first text in at least one of a local language and a local character system and as a second text in at least one of said assigned language and a assigned character system corresponding to said assigned language.

2. Device according to claim 1, whereas said first text and said second text are pooled together in a region of the display positioned to said country or to said city or to said road.

3. Device according to claim 1, whereas said first text is displayed larger than said second text.

4. Device according to claim 1, whereas said first text uses a different font than said second text.

5. Device according to claim 1, whereas said first text uses a different formatting than said second text.

6. Device according to claim 1, whereas said second text is a translation or transcription of the first text.

7. Device according to claim 1, whereas said second text is displayed only if the assigned language differs from the local language or if an assigned character system differs from a local character system.

8. Device according to claim 1, whereas the first text is hidden depending on a zoom factor of said road navigation map or a size of a corresponding item.

9. Device according to claim 1, whereas at least two local names of different languages are displayed as the first text.

10. A method of displaying navigation information, the method being deployed in a navigation device programmed with a map database and software operable to display a current position of the device on a road navigation map, whereas a name is assigned to a country or a city or a road and displayed on said road navigation map, a language is assigned to a displayed text using a user interface, and said name on said road navigation map is simultaneously displayed as a first text in at least one of a local language and a local character system and as a second text in at least one of said assigned language and a assigned character system corresponding to said assigned language.

Description:

CO-PENDING APPLICATIONS

The following applications are being filed concurrently with the present application. The entire contents of each of the following applications is hereby incorporated herein by reference: A NAVIGATION DEVICE AND METHOD FOR EARLY INSTRUCTION OUTPUT (Attorney docket number 06P207US01) filed on even date herewith; A NAVIGATION DEVICE AND METHOD FOR ESTABLISHING AND USING PROFILES (Attorney docket number 06P207US02) filed on even date herewith; A NAVIGATION DEVICE AND METHOD FOR ENHANCED MAP DISPLAY (Attorney docket number 06P207US03) filed on even date herewith; A NAVIGATION DEVICE AND METHOD RELATING TO AN AUDIBLE RECOGNITION MODE (Attorney docket number 06P207US04) filed on even date herewith; NAVIGATION DEVICE AND METHOD FOR PROVIDING POINTS OF INTEREST (Attorney docket number 06P207US05) filed on even date herewith; A NAVIGATION DEVICE AND METHOD FOR FUEL PRICING DISPLAY (Attorney docket number 06P057US06) filed on even date herewith; A NAVIGATION DEVICE AND METHOD FOR INFORMATIONAL SCREEN DISPLAY (Attorney docket number 06P207US06) filed on even date herewith; A NAVIGATION DEVICE AND METHOD FOR DEALING WITH LIMITED ACCESS ROADS (Attorney docket number 06P057US07) filed on even date herewith; A NAVIGATION DEVICE AND METHOD FOR TRAVEL WARNINGS (Attorney docket number 06P057US07) filed on even date herewith; A NAVIGATION DEVICE AND METHOD FOR DRIVING BREAK WARNING (Attorney docket number 06P057US07) filed on even date herewith; A NAVIGATION DEVICE AND METHOD FOR DISPLAY OF POSITION IN TEXT READIBLE FORM (Attorney docket number 06P207US08) filed on even date herewith; A NAVIGATION DEVICE AND METHOD FOR EMERGENCY SERVICE ACCESS (Attorney docket number 06P057US08) filed on even date herewith; A NAVIGATION DEVICE AND METHOD FOR PROVIDING REGIONAL TRAVEL INFORMATION IN A NAVIGATION DEVICE (Attorney docket number 06P207US09) filed on even date herewith; A NAVIGATION DEVICE AND METHOD FOR USING SPECIAL CHARACTERS IN A NAVIGATION DEVICE (Attorney docket number 06P207US09) filed on even date herewith; A NAVIGATION DEVICE AND METHOD USING A PERSONAL AREA NETWORK (Attorney docket number 06P207US10) filed on even date herewith; A NAVIGATION DEVICE AND METHOD USING A LOCATION MESSAGE (Attorney docket number 06P207US10) filed on even date herewith; A NAVIGATION DEVICE AND METHOD FOR CONSERVING POWER (Attorney docket number 06P207US11) filed on even date herewith; A NAVIGATION DEVICE AND METHOD FOR USING A TRAFFIC MESSAGE CHANNEL (Attorney docket number 06P207US13) filed on even date herewith; A NAVIGATION DEVICE AND METHOD FOR USING A TRAFFIC MESSAGE CHANNEL RESOURCE (Attorney docket number 06P207US13) filed on even date herewith; A NAVIGATION DEVICE AND METHOD FOR QUICK OPTION ACCESS (Attorney docket number 06P207US15) filed on even date herewith; A NAVIGATION DEVICE AND METHOD FOR DISPLAYING A RICH CONTENT DOCUMENT (Attorney docket number 06P207US27) filed on even date herewith.

PRIORITY STATEMENT

The present application hereby claims priority under 35 U.S.C. § 119(e) on each of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Nos. 60/879, 523 filed Jan. 10, 2007, 60/879,549 filed Jan. 10, 2007, 60/879,553 filed Jan. 10, 2007, 60/879,577 filed Jan. 10, 2007, 60/879,599 filed Jan. 10, 2007, 60/879,529 filed Jan. 10, 2007, 60/879,601 filed Jan. 10, 2007, the entire contents of each of which is hereby incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a navigation device that can display navigation information. The device finds particular application as an in-car navigation system.

BACKGROUND

Prior art navigation devices based on GPS (Global Positioning System) are well known and are widely employed as in-car navigation systems. Such a GPS based navigation device relates to a computing device which in a functional connection to an external (or internal) GPS receiver is capable of determining its global position.

Moreover, the computing device is capable of determining a route between start and destination addresses, which can be input by a user of the computing device. Typically, the computing device is enabled by software for computing a “best” or “optimum” route between the start and destination address locations from a map database. A “best” or “optimum” route is determined on the basis of predetermined criteria and need not necessarily be the fastest or shortest route. The selection of the route along which to guide the driver can be very sophisticated, and the selected route may take into account existing and predicted traffic and road conditions, historical information about road speeds, and the driver's own preferences for the factors determining road choice. In addition, the device may continually monitor road and traffic conditions, and offer to or choose to change the route over which the remainder of the journey is to be made due to changed conditions. Real time traffic monitoring systems, based on various technologies (e.g. mobile phone calls, fixed cameras, GPS fleet tracking) are being used to identify traffic delays and to feed the information into notification systems.

The navigation device may typically be mounted on the dashboard of a vehicle, but may also be formed as part of an on-board computer of the vehicle or car radio. The navigation device may also be (part of) a hand-held system, such as a PDA (Personal Navigation Device) a media player, a mobile phone or the like. The user interacts with the navigation device to tell it the journey they wish to make. The device selects a route for the journey. The user may intervene in, or guide the route selection process. The device provides visual and audible instructions to show the user the vehicle's current position and to guide the user along a chosen route. User interaction with the device may be by a touch screen, by steering column mounted remote control, by voice activation or by any other suitable method.

By using positional information derived from the GPS receiver, the computing device can determine at regular intervals its position and can display the current position of the vehicle to the user. The navigation device may also comprise memory devices for storing map data and a display for displaying a selected portion of the map data.

Also, it can provide instructions how to navigate the determined route by appropriate navigation directions displayed on the display and/or generated as audible signals from a speaker (e.g. ‘turn left in 100 m’). Graphics depicting the actions to be accomplished (e.g. a left arrow indicating a left turn ahead) can be displayed in a status bar and also be superimposed upon the applicable junctions/turnings etc. in the map itself. It is known to enable in-car navigation systems to allow the driver, whilst driving in a car along a route calculated by the navigation system, to initiate a route recalculation. This is useful where the vehicle is faced with construction work or heavy congestion. It is also known to enable a user to choose the kind of route calculation algorithm deployed by the navigation device, selecting for example from a ‘Normal’ mode and a ‘Fast’ mode (which calculates the route in the shortest time, but does not explore as many alternative routes as the Normal mode). t is also known to allow a route to be calculated with user defined criteria; for example, the user may prefer a scenic route to be calculated by the device. The device software would then calculate various routes and weigh more favourably those that include along their route the highest number of points of interest (known as POIs) tagged as being for example of scenic beauty.

In order to determine a route between start and destination addresses, the navigation device uses map data. Depending on stored or input preferences (shortest route, fastest route, scenic route, . . . ), the navigation device computes an “optimum” route using the stored map data. However, the “optimum” route may differ from time to time, depending on the current situation on the road. It may for instance depend on the amount of vehicles on certain segments of the road, possible traffic jams, congestion, diversions etc.

US 2002/0128770 A1 describes a system to provide a driver with real-time information about the situation on the road. The system uses cameras to make pictures of the earth's surface. The cameras may be cameras positioned on the ground or may be cameras positioned on a satellite. The server transmits (part of) a picture to a navigation device mounted on a client's vehicle. The navigation device is arranged to display the received picture to allow the client to assess the situation on the road.

Known navigation devices are arranged to take into account changing road situations and conditions. Such navigation devices are arranged to receive information on traffic jams from a server. This information is used by the navigation device when planning a route or may be used to re-route an already planned route. The information about traffic jams is for instance collected using detection systems embedded in the road surface measuring the speed of the passing vehicles.

EP 1 611 416 A1 describes a navigation device. The user can, by touching the screen, task away completely form a 2D or 3D navigation map to a menu screen which displays one or more options that, if selected through a further touch action, initiate a recalculation to find a detour away from the planned route.

SUMMARY

It is an object of the invention to provide a navigation device and another object of invention to provide a method improving orientation.

This need may be met by a navigation device and a method according to the independent claims.

A first aspect of the invention is a navigation device. The navigation device is programmed with a map database and software. It is operable to assign a name to a country or a city or a road and display said name on a road navigation map. E.g. the names of a country, city or road, can be displayed simultaneously or alternatively depending on a zoom factor. Preferably the current position of the device is displayed on said road navigation map. The term road applies also to all kinds of street, highway, lane, way, avenue, parkway, trail, path, farm trail, etcetera.

The navigation device is operable to assign a language to a displayed text using a user interface. E.g. the user can define the user language selecting a corresponding button. A corresponding character system is used. E.g. using Dutch language a Latin character system is assigned.

Further the navigation device is operable to display said name as a first text in at least one of a local language and a local character system. Preferably both said local language and said local character system is used.

A second text in at least one of said assigned language and said assigned character system corresponding to said assigned language is displayed.

Said first test and said second text are simultaneously displayed on said road navigation map. In a further refinement of the invention the first text and the second text are loaded from the map database depending on a current view.

In a preferred embodiment entries for each city name are stored in a table. Each translation or transcription is represented with a language code, e.g. RUS for Cyrillic Russian and RUL for Latinized transcripted Russian, etc. For example for Moscow the following data are used:

MOCKBáRUS
MOSKVARUL
MOSCOWENG
MOSKAUGER
Etc.

In one exemplary embodiment said first text and said second text are pooled together in a region of the display positioned to said country or to said city or to said road. E.g. both texts are displayed positioned to a center of said country or said city or said road.

In another exemplary embodiment said first text is displayed larger than said second text. In a further refinement said first text uses at least one of a different font and a different formatting than said second text. A different formatting is e.g. underline, italic or bold.

In another exemplary embodiment said second text is a translation of said first text into the assigned language. In another exemplary embodiment said second text is a transcription of the first text into said assigned character system. The translation or transcription can be loaded from the devices own database or from an external database, e.g. via a wireless link.

In a further refinement said second text is displayed only if the assigned language differs from the local language. In a further refinement said second text is displayed only if said assigned character system of said assigned language differs from the local character system.

In another embodiment the first text is displayed vertically shifted relative to the second text. Preferably the second text is displayed vertically below said first text. Both texts could be separated by a line or another graphical item.

In another embodiment the first text is hidden depending on a zoom factor of said road navigation map or the size of said item the name is assigned to. E.g., if there is not enough space to display both texts only the second text is shown.

In one embodiment of the invention at least two local names of different languages are displayed as said first text in case there are at least two official national languages in said local area. For example in Belgium French and Flemish are used concurrently on traffic signs.

Another aspect of the invention is a method of displaying navigation information. The method is deployed in a navigation device programmed with a map database and software operable to display a current position of the device on a road navigation map.

A name is assigned to a country or a city or a road and displayed on a road navigation map. A language is assigned to a displayed text by the user using a user interface. All texts of all menus are displayed in the assigned language.

Said name of said country or said city or said road is displayed as a first text in local language and as a second text in said assigned language simultaneously on said road navigation map.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other aspects of the present invention will become apparent from and elucidated with reference to the embodiments described hereinafter. The present invention will be described with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which

FIG. 1 shows a schematic display with a map of a navigation device; and

FIG. 2 shows another schematic display with a map of a navigation device.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS

A Navigator software runs for instance on a touch screen (i.e. stylus controlled) Pocket PC powered PDA device. It provides a GPS based navigation system when the PDA is coupled with a GPS receiver. The combined PDA and GPS receiver system is designed to be used as an in-vehicle navigation system. The invention may also be implemented in any other arrangement of navigation device, such as one with an integral GPS receiver/computer/display. The navigation device may implement any kind of position sensing technology and is not limited to GPS; it can hence be implemented using other kinds of GNSS (global navigation satellite system) such as the European Galileo system. Equally, it is not limited to satellite based location/velocity systems but can equally be deployed using ground-based beacons or any other kind of system that enables the device to determine its geographic location.

The Navigator software, when running on a PDA, results in a navigation device that causes the normal navigation mode screen shown in FIG. 1 to be displayed.

This view provides driving instructions using a combination of text, symbols, voice guidance and a moving map. Key user interface elements are the following:

In FIG. 1 a 3-D map 1 occupies most of the screen. The road navigation map 1 shows the user's car 3 and its immediate surroundings, rotated in such a way that the direction in which the car 3 is moving is always “in front”. Running across the bottom quarter of the screen is the status bar 2. The current location of the device, as the device itself determines using conventional GPS location finding and its orientation (as inferred from its direction of travel) is depicted by an arrow 3. The route calculated by the device (using route calculation algorithms stored in device memory as applied to map data stored in a map database in device memory) is shown as darkened path 4 superimposed with arrows giving the travel direction. On the darkened path 4, all major actions (e.g. turning corners, crossroads, roundabouts etc.) can be schematically depicted by arrows overlaying the path 4. Numbers of motorways 5 are display adjacent to the displayed motorway. Also a destination 8 is shown using a corresponding icon 8. Urban areas 19 are indicated using a specific color scheme.

The status bar 2 also includes at its left hand side a schematic 6 depicting the next action (here, a roundabout). The status bar 2 also shows the distance to the next action (i.e. the roundabout - here the distance is 2.3 km) as extracted from a database of the entire route calculated by the device (i.e. a list of all roads and related actions defining the route to be taken). Status bar 2 could also shows the name of the current road. Shown is the estimated time before arrival 9 (here 8 minutes and 50 seconds), the actual estimated arrival time 10 (10.26) and the distance to the destination 11 (3.5 km). The GPS signal strength is shown in a mobile-phone style signal strength indicator 12.

In the embodiment of FIG. 1 there are two towns ahead. The destination 11 is located in a first town. The local name 14 of said town is written as a first text 14 “LILLE” in capital letters. The local name 14 refers to the spelling used in the language used in that town or country. The local name 14 is identical to the spelling on traffic signs around that town LILLE. Therefore the user is able to verify the information on traffic signs with the displayed first text 14 “LILLE”.

The navigation device is operable to assign a language to a displayed text using a user interface. In the embodiment of FIG. 1 the Dutch language is assigned, using a language menu (not shown). Normally the user knows the spelling of towns better in his/her mother tongue. To improve the users orientation in a foreign country, a second text 16 in said assigned language is simultaneously displayed on said road navigation map 1. In the embodiment of FIG. 1 the second text 16 “RIJSEL” is the Dutch name of the town “LILLE” used in local language. In the embodiment of FIG. 1 the first text 14 and the second text 16 are separated by a line 15. The font of the second text 15 is smaller then the font of the first text 14. Additionally the font or the style of the first text 14 and the second text 16 can be different (not shown). To display the first text 14 of the local name and the second text 16 of the assigned name both texts are loaded from a corresponding directory of a memory device.

Also a local name of another town 13 “WATTIGNIES” is displayed. In this case there is no translation into the assigned language available. Not even an English translation is available, which would be shown instead of the assigned language. Therefore only the local name is displayed. Using the buttons 20a and 20b it is possible to zoom in and zoom out the current view. If there is not enough space for the first text 14 and the second text 16 on the navigation road map 1 to show both names, only the second text 16 is shown, not the local name 14.

FIG. 2 shows another detail. The first text 17 is written in Chinese characters. The user may not be able to read these Chinese characters. Nevertheless these Chinese characters are useful if verified with the local traffic signs using the same Chinese characters. On the other hand for the user it is advantageous that at the same time a transcription 18 of these Chinese characters is shown on the navigation map 1. In the embodiment of FIG. 2 the second text 18 is “HONG KONG”, written in Latin letters. The user not familiar with Chinese characters will be able to identify the town and spell the name of the town at any time using the navigation device with the simultaneous view of the first 17 and second text 18. The same applies to Cyrillic letters for example.

The actual physical structure of the device itself may be fundamentally no different from any conventional handheld computer, other than the integral GPS receiver or a GPS data feed from an external GPS receiver. Hence, memory stores the route calculation algorithms, map database and user interface software; a microprocessor interprets and processes user input (e.g. using a device touch screen to input the start and destination addresses and all other control inputs) and deploys the route calculation algorithms to calculate the optimal route. ‘Optimal’ may refer to criteria such as shortest time or shortest distance, or some other user-related factors.

More specifically, the user inputs his start position and required destination in the normal manner into the Navigator software running on the PDA using a virtual keyboard. The user then selects the manner in which a travel route is calculated: various modes are offered, such as a ‘fast’ mode that calculates the route very rapidly, but the route might not be the shortest; a ‘full’ mode that looks at all possible routes and locates the shortest, but takes longer to calculate etc. Other options are possible, with a user defining a route that is scenic—e.g. passes the most POI (points of interest) marked as views of outstanding beauty, or passes the most POIs of possible interest to children or uses the fewest junctions etc.

Roads themselves are described in the map database that is part of Navigator (or is otherwise accessed by it) running on the PDA as lines—i.e. vectors (e.g. start point, end point, direction for a road, with an entire road being made up of many hundreds of such sections, each uniquely defined by start point/end point direction parameters).

A map is then a set of such road vectors, plus points of interest (POIs), plus road names, plus city or country names, plus other geographic features like park boundaries, river boundaries etc, all of which are defined in terms of vectors. All map features (e.g. road vectors, POIs etc.) are defined in a coordinate system that corresponds or relates to the GPS co-ordinate system, enabling a device's position as determined through a GPS system to be located onto the relevant road shown in a map.

Route calculation uses complex algorithms that are part of the Navigator software. The algorithms are applied to score large numbers of potential different routes. The Navigator software then evaluates them against the user defined criteria (or device defaults), such as a full mode scan, with scenic route, past museums, and no speed camera. The route which best meets the defined criteria is then calculated by a processor in the PDA and then stored in a database in RAM as a sequence of vectors, road names and actions to be done at vector end-points (e.g. corresponding to pre-determined distances along each road of the route, such as after 100 meters, turn left into street x).