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Whether it’s tracking the location of a bus so that, especially if you’re visually impaired, you know when your bus is coming; helping friends and family know where you are so that you can be rescued in the event of a disaster or even providing insight into potential malaria hotspots, this year’s crop of Microsoft Imagine Cup competitors are using Bing Maps as a core part of their solutions.
When I previewed the U.S. Regional Imagine Cup a couple of weeks ago, I painted the picture of what the U.S. Finals would look like and shared that I was looking forward to seeing how the teams were using Bing Maps in their solutions. I already knew that LifeCode used Bing Maps to help geographically track the donation of supplies – especially during relief efforts, but was on the lookout for others using Bing Maps.
It was a pleasure to meet and learn about Team Transit Trackers from Arizona State who used Bing Maps to help their fellow Arizonans catch the bus. Knowing that they couldn’t rely on getting budget to equip all buses with GPS devices, they built an ingenious solution that utilizes crowd-sourced information and then, literally, maps that information. This was especially significant since their team captain is visually impared and really needed the solution for himself.
In addition to teams in the U.S., we are seeing Imagine Cup 2011 competitors across the globe using Bing Maps. For example: Team NewKrean, the regional winner from Thailand created an application that broadcasts, with one button, your location to your social network in the event of a disaster. Here’s an article about the team and their work.
Then there’s Team OneBuzz, the regional winner from New Zealand who created a solution that aggregates topographic, governmental, meteorological and crowd sourced information.After analyzing the data, the most at-risk areas for malaria are presented on Bing Maps.
And that’s just from the first few regional Imagine Cup events. As we get closer to the worldwide finals of the Microsoft Imagine Cup in July, I look forward to sharing even more ways in which Bing Maps is having an incredible impact on the world and how the technology behind it is allowing the students to focus on their solutions and not on the back-end technology. This is all a part of helping the students of today be prepared for the world – and the jobs – of tomorrow!
Learn more about the Imagine Cup overall here and read about the recent US Regional Finals here.
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