Why a Blockchain Map Ecosystem Matters?
Location data is the mostly widely used infrastructure of everyday life and the basic tool for a wider range of location-based applications. It is also a critical component in producing city intelligence for a smarter and more private urban living.
The growing prominence of digital technologies such as Cloud, software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform, 4G/5G network, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented/Virtual Reality (AR/VR), Internet of Things (IoT), are driving the demand and outreach of location-based data towards a better accuracy and real-time feature.
Let’s think a bit further ahead, unmanned drive. For society to accept machine drivers, it’s clear they will have to be much safer, and foreseeable than us humans. If an accident occurs, how we can judge whether it is the car problem, map problem, or something occurred during data transmission? But with blockchain, users can adopt a “reliable” map with enhanced safety that has been agreed by crowd-consensus.
Furthermore, as we co-exist with Coronavirus, people rely more on online deliveries, bookings, financial services, in order to maintain a secure living without a direct-interaction with the outside. And check out these apps on your phone, they simply can’t leave location data!
Today, the availability and strategic importance of location data has exploded. Hundreds of millions of connected users aided by innumerable sensor devices are using location-based apps. Thus, a real-time, accurate, and extensive location data becomes an absolute requisite.
The existing troubles and inevitable trend of future map industry
The existing map service does not lack open-participation. Google Map has added public contribution feature to its map interface, allowing users to add a missing place to the local area.
However, participation on a centralized platform can’t solve the user pain point. Without traceability and transparency in data collection and distribution, users still suffer from privacy leakage, high map usage costs, and more… See how many of those issues have you encountered as below.
No Privacy protecting
To use Google Map, one has to register a google account first, fill-in your personal information such as phone no., email address, billing address, etc. Thereafter, whenever you check or share a location with your family or friends, Google can easily see it.
With your location permission, Google, Apple or Facebook can easily access and track your privacy. Even after you clear off the location history, they can restore it without asking. The reason they keep tracking you is because location data tells a lot about you — where you live, who you meet, what you eat today — like puzzles that will finally reveal exactly who you are. Just imagine who else will share the same routine as yours every day?
What makes it even more scary is, you have no idea how they deal with your privacy, and how many others already know so much about you.
We all have taken photos with mobile phones, but the photo you share on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook are helping these social media track your location through the metadata attached to it. These data include GPS coordinates, which most cell phones and digital cameras automatically embed, which help identify where you were when you took the picture and travels with your photos when you post them on the Internet. The geotags added to the photos on apps even makes tracking a lot easier!
Mistaken Navigation in Remote Areas
In geographically complicated regions, especially in remote areas, Google has less motivation to update location data. Google has been receiving complaints about their navigation UX.
High data usage cost
Google charges from $2.00 to $14.00 per thousand usage of map for business use case, which gets more expensive as you require more data. Open-source map products such as MapBox charges $2.40 to $4.00 per thousand usage of map. The huge price gap drives more start-ups and SMEs to adopt much cheaper open-source map data since 2017.
No contribution rewards
Although Google has a “contribute to a missing place” button displayed on map, however, it excludes the public contributors from any forms of data ownership, therefore leaves participants with no economic incentives.
However, these issues can be left in history with a brand-new governance structure — the blockchain map. Prior to decentralized map, open-street-map (OSM) tried to disrupt Google map’s monopoly with a distributed map data contribution, however, it lacks an incentive mechanism to maintain its sustainability.
Why blockchain tech can be applied to improve map industry
Blockchain is a cryptographic peer-to-peer (P2P) network that is tamper-proof and immutable. Each transaction is time-stamped when received by a node. It empowers the crowd to disrupt the existing cartography and data ownership. Local habitants are allowed to verify and reach consensus on whether the POI is correct.
In addition, blockchain protocol enables value to be generated out of location data and remain in the network. Tokens can grant the generated value to contributors as rewards. Thus, participants (node) are motivated to contribute to decentralized map services.
To simply put, everyone can build POIs, verify data, offer map services to your local area, and get economic rewards. Because of blockchain, map can be powerful.
What Hyperion Map Offers?
Crowd-source data & Validation
Hyperion data is contributed by the crowd and stored in Map3 network. Users can download Titan app and upload POIs to enrich map data. Map3 nodes are responsible for providing decentralized map services.
Crowd-build basically means each contributor will confirm the location details of a house, neighborhood or a restaurant, or determine what is the nearest route from home to company. Crowd-build map will be particularly helpful, when a drone is delivering your food, or an self-driving vehicle is seeking a safest route after picking up your kid from school. You would want the navigation system to use the best map that familiarizes with your local area.
Hyperion Map service is delivered by Map3 nodes. Service nodes can be run your laptop, a cloud instance, or the NAS machine at your home. Users from various regions can check how to deploy a Map3 node.
With more Map3 service nodes, map quality will be improved to attract more service requests from business users.
Security assurance using Titan map app
Unlike Google Map’s indispensible requirement for users to register account before activating the map app, Titan map needs ZERO information beyond in-built GPS in your mobile device to access the services. But how can we make sure user privacy is secure?
Data Burning Feature
Titan has in-built a burning button, allowing users to permanently clear location history after use, leaving absolutely no possibility for anyone to recover the geolocation data
Titan adopts a strong cryptographic primitive, enabling users to share encrypted map details to friends and families. The chosen POI detail will be converted into a ciphertext, and only the person with the correct “password” (public key) can decrypt the text.
Blockchain participants need to get a clear idea of how to co-work to secure the network and create value. Since blockchain is known for distributed governance, the key is to design a more practical governance structure that best-suits the goal of each project.
In case of map, the level of decentralization is based on data & service. The more data and service has been contributed, the more secure and efficient the network will become.
HYN token is the threshold for open participation. Contributors need to stake HYN from Titan, Map3 to Atlas to deeply engage with the ecosystem. Map3 nodes and Atlas nodes provide decentralized map services on service layer and the underlying consensus layers. Operators and stakers of these nodes can share the incentives and benefits from the growth of the ecosystem.
Hyperion’s vision is to build “One Map” — a decentralized map infrastructure for the world, for a wide array location-based application running on the Hyperion infrastructure one day. Just like Ethereum, we provide developer-friendly location data, application program interface (API), and software development kit (SDK) to enable developers to design, build and develop custom location-based applications based on our protocol.