(19) United States
(12) Patent Application Publication (io) Pub. No.: US 2004/0139049 Al
Hancock et al. (43) Pub. Date: Jul. 15,2004
distributed, registry of real-world locations and locationrelated information for businesses and other entities, analogous to the registry of domain names for Internet and web sites. By this central registry, businesses and other entities are facilitated to post their location and location-related information in a single place, for all users who need or want it; and users can refer to this single place, via the Internet, Web, and other telecommunications devices, to obtain accurate, complete and timely location and location-based information about the registered businesses and other entities. Each record of the UGD is keyed by a proprietary location address (PLA) based on the World (Geographic Referencing System (WGRS), and optionally may have one or more proprietary location addresses (PLAs), which also may serve as keys. Associated with the PLA keys, each UGD record generally includes the full name for the business or other entity, its street address, and miscellaneous contact information (e.g., telephone number, facsimile number, e-mail address, internet website address, wireless website address). Other more dynamic, customized information (e.g., store hours, credit cards accepted, inventory, prices, specials, hours, parking) also may be available in the UGD record or linked to the UGD record. Users of any device or service can access the UGD through one or more location name servers (LNS), which can provide access to the UGD or other location-based information linked to the UGD or LNS. Based on the WGRS, PLAs provide, in addition to unique keys for UGD records, a user-friendly notation for location naming in the real-world and on all types of locationsensitive electronic devices, from web phones to in-car navigation systems. Given the UGD, these ULA/PLAs are as important to real-world businesses as their domain names because these WGRS addresses drive real-world commerce to physical business locations just as domain names drive e-commerce Internet or web sites.