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Recent Garmin Patents


Recently there have been a few new patents showing up for Garmin. We can only guess which might actually come to be products in the near future or exactly what they have in mind…. but it is always fun to speculate. :) Here is what we have seen. (And yes, we could be very, very wrong in what we think these might be fore…. but that is part of the fun.)

A computer-implemented method of providing personalized route information involves gathering a plurality of past location indicators over time for a wireless client device, determining a future driving objective using the plurality of previously-gathered location indicators, obtaining real-time traffic data for an area proximate to the determined driving objective, and generating a suggested route for the driving objective using the near real-time traffic data.

This sounds like they are storing data you have previously driven and using that to help determine how to route you in the future. For example you might know a shortcut that the normal GPS routing doesn’t think is as fast. If you routinely ask the GPS to route from A to B and you always ignore the directions in a certain spot to take advantage of your shortcut, perhaps the GPS will learn your shortcut and offer it as the route in the future.

Sets of local, (e.g., online) ads may be generated by obtaining sets of information about (e.g., local) establishments, each set including a business address information and/or a telephone number, (b) determining, for each of the sets, a location using at least one of at least a portion of the business address information and at least a portion of the telephone number, and (c) generating, for each of the sets, an ad that includes targeting information that targets the serving of the ad to queries related to the determined location. A query, including information about a location of a client device, may be accepted and at least one of the generated ads that includes targeting information that targets the location of the client device may be determined.

This sounds a lot like what Google appears to have up their sleeve regarding Google location based advertising using GPS. Simply put an advertiser could choose to have an advertisement displayed on GPS receivers as vehicles drive by. (Or just before they drive by to give them time to decide to re-route to the advertiser’s location.

A location classifier generates location information based on textual strings in input text. The location information defines potential geographical relevance of the input text. In determining the location information, the location classifier may receive at least one geo-relevance profile associated with at least one string in the input text, obtain a combined geo-relevance profile for the document from the at least one geo-relevance profile, and determine geographical relevance of the input text based on the combined geo-relevance profile.

This sounds like an algorithm whereby a user could search their GPS, perhaps for a POI, and the results displayed in the search take into consideration where the GPS is currently located to determine which results are the best match. This would be similar to how Google Local works.

A local search engine efficiently indexes documents relevant to a geographical area by indexing, for each document, multiple location identifiers that collectively define an aggregate geographic region. When creating the index, the search engine may determine a set of geographical areas surrounding a geographical area relevant to a document and associate references to the set of geographical areas with the document index.

If you want to take a stab at this one (or any of the others) feel free to comment below. It appears to be related to the third patent, however more generic in terms of the types of searches being performed.

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