ALPSLAB Ryakuchizu (ALPSLAB 略地図) is a Flash powered sketch map generator. It generates a map which shows major crossings and guides to the objective while omitting unnecessary part from the original map.
It is strictly a beta, and not provided for real use. Usually I doubt this kind of beta services which lack real business commitment can obtain users and earn profit. Anyway it’s a very intersting technology, and worth introduction. It can be very useful service, if development continues.
Alps-sha is a map publisher with 70 years history. Originally it was not providing any web map service. After Alps-sha had declared chapter-11 and get bought by Yahoo Japan, Alps started its web service devision ‘ALPSLAB’ and released many web services.
- Type: private (100% subsidiary of Yahoo! Japan)
- Founded: 1936
- Employee: 203 (as of April 2007)
Very interesting. Now add to this an automatic conversion of the residual words in Rômaji – some automatic translation of keywords like 区役所＝ward office would be easy, and let all the foreign Japan fans spread the word in their blogs + license the usage rights to any foreign publisher of guide books where Japan is so hot a destination. This would tremendously help them explain how to go from this station to that famous shrine or museum.
I left a suggestion in the Alps dedicated page. They ask you not to leave anything traceable back to you like your name or contact info, for the sake of that holy privacy. Shunning at communicating with the “unknown” people tells a lot about their business minds though, that is, old fashion business as usual. Good news anyway from Asiajin, as usual. Thanks.