Unveiling tomorrow (Friday) at Sharjah Innovation Week
An interactive map of Sharjah with precise locations or ‘hot spots’ of all major tourist, cultural and business attractions in the emirate, that will respond when a user moves the mouse over them to offer more effective navigational assistance will be unveiled by Sharjah Urban Planning Council (SUPC) tomorrow (Friday) at University City Hall, Sharjah.
Alongside the unveiling of the ‘Sharjah Interactive Map’, the venue will be hosting several events and innovations brought in by other entities, as part of Sharjah Innovation Week, from 8-14 February, being organised by the emirate to celebrate the UAE leadership’s enterprising spirit and boost the nation’s efforts to promote a culture of innovation.
SUPC’s innovation builds on the vast potential of enabling technologies, which is considered one of the five driving forces of 21st century innovation. The other drivers are renewable energy and sustainability, health care, education, technology and transportation & logistics.
SUPC’s participation falls under its strategic plan to promote a culture of innovation through its ongoing as well as completed projects that focus on improving the quality of life of Sharjah’s residents through application of latest technologies.
The ‘Sharjah Interactive Map’ uses artificial intelligence (AI) to recognise symbols and shapes and simulate new symbols. The user-friendly map does not require a search process like other digital maps. It draws on augmented reality technologies and uses a smartphone camera to guide users to their destination or learn about specific interests in the emirate. When the camera is focused on a street, a piece of architecture and other landmarks, the application immediately pulls up detailed information about them. This map will facilitate residents, visitors and tourists to plan their visits in the city in an interactive manner.
Engineer Khalid Al Ali, Secretary-General of Sharjah Urban Planning Council (SUPC), said: “As the emirate’s urban planning commission, our continuous endeavour is to make Sharjah more accessible and friendlier to its people. Innovation is a key driver of urban development, and technology plays an increasingly important role in ensuring a good standard of living in the emirate. The Sharjah Interactive Map is another premium service we have launched to assist work and living here in the emirate, and a significant step forward towards building an innovative future.”
“The Sharjah Interactive Map, developed by SUPC, aims at supporting other sectors. It supports the cultural sector with an effective tool to introduce residents and tourists to the emirate’s rich heritage sites and monuments. It plays a pivotal role in stimulating the retail sector, helping tourists and visitors to find key retail spots. An interactive map provides Sharjah’s visitors with a great tool for sightseeing and exploring the historical, cultural, tourist and leisure landmarks and attractions in the emirate,” he added.
At the UAE Innovation Month last year, SUPC showcased three initiatives: Postal Code, Street View and Smart Watches. It also delivered a workshop to both students and urban planning experts, encouraging them to be more innovative in the urban planning field.
The UAE Innovation Month is organised each year as part of the National Innovation Strategy that aims to ensure the wellbeing and happiness for the local communities by providing premium services at the highest international standards through relevant organisations and entities. It aligns with the UAE Vision 2021, which aims to make the UAE among the best countries in the world by the Golden Jubilee of the Union.