InRef, LLC announces issuance of U.S. Patent No. 8,643,670 B2 for the Collaborative Mapboard System - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

InRef, LLC announces issuance of U.S. Patent No. 8,643,670 B2 for the Collaborative Mapboard System


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Harry Tunnell, Principal at InRef, LLC, received a patent from the USPTO for his invention of a system to accurately share graphical information between multiple maps. The invention works with maps that are in different media states such as paper and digital.

Fort Wayne, IN (PRWEB) July 16, 2014

Harry Tunnell, Principal at InRef, LLC, was recently notified that a U.S. Patent for his invention of the Collaborative Mapboard System (CMS) has been issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The invention relates to systems for displaying maps and sharing graphical information between maps. The unique contribution of the invention is that it describes a system for accurately sharing information between multiple maps when the maps are in different media states.

The invention provides people and organizations, with vastly different resources, a method to accurately transfer graphical information between artifacts, regardless of their paper or digital media state, said Tunnell. Geographic Information Systems (GIS), which provide users with a computerized set of tools to interact with and share maps and related information, are increasingly popular. They have commercial, government, and research applications. Despite the popularity of these systems, many communities do not have the ability to use them because they are limited by of a lack of skills or inadequate computing resources. As a result, they must continue to rely on paper maps for planning, operations, and research.

Problems sharing accurate graphical information between virtual and physical maps can be particularly acute in areas that temporarily lose resources when they are ravaged by natural disasters, acts of terrorism, or other emergencies. Similar challenges with information sharing and GIS use are also found in the developing world because people do not have the education, training, or infrastructure to support a robust computing environment. The CMS is intended for these complex situations and describes how to transfer graphical information accurately, when conditions require collaborators to use resources that are not ordinarily interoperable. Another benefit of the CMS is that it incorporates lightweight portable systems to protect physical artifacts, such as paper maps, from moisture and dust.

The innovation offers an important capability for many different types of users and organizations. Emergency management, military, homeland security, land development, environmental research, law enforcement, geographic survey, nautical, and aviation agencies are among the groups that can find utility in the invention. The CMS is U.S. Patent No. 8,643,670 B2. It incorporates, Tunnells earlier patent, also issued by the USPTO, for the Weather Resistant Mapboard Assembly (U.S. Patent No. 5,732,978). Both patents are assigned to InRef, LLC.

About InRef, LLC

InRef, LLC is a new media consultancy with a mission to provide superior service and help people interact with data, understand information, and build knowledge. The company vision is to help people design equipment, processes, and procedures that promote rewarding user experiences.


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