Hot on the heels of Microsoft's attempt to patent choropleth maps and Apple's own attempt to patent schematic maps, news this morning from Cupertino's increasingly bizarre reality distortion field that Apple, fine purveyor of shiny consumer electronic wet dreams, has filed a patent application for 'layered maps'. I'm surprised no-one has thought of this...
Marshall Island stick charts
John Snow's map of cholera
Minard's map of Napoleon's March to Moscow
a small matter of GIS (talk to Roger Tomlinson for starters...there are others who could advise)
Google (et al.)
every map I've bloody well made
pretty much every map anyone else has every made
...all prior art for the layering of layers of data, in map form, that provide a rich environment in which to describe and answer spatial questions. Technology has changed and we now do this mostly using layers from internet derived sources...quite often mashing them up using apps to generate new information. Bang goes the crux of their terrific idea. Ya boo sucks.
End of. .
P.S. I'm still trying to find a way to file a patent for crap chLoropleth maps...but everyone's making them.