United Arab Emirates (UAE) talking map

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is a global market for intelligent maps in areas such as navigation, moving robots, and smart cities. This leads to the rise of new research domains in geography such as navigation ontology and an ontological hierarchy for spatial knowledge. Early navigation maps used only visual descriptions and symbols. Continued developments in hardware, software, data and progress in integration of voice with vehicles (land, marine, air) has made navigation easier and has lead to the reduction of accidents and savings of time and money. However, the majority of navigation systems provide one-way turn-by-turn voice only, where the user is a listener only and cannot give instructions, and this puts constraints and limitations on their use in other applications. The objective of this research is to develop a talking map application that couples Geographic Information Systems (GIS) with speech recognition systems. The research question posed is how to interact with maps via voice? A prototype application is developed for United Arab Emirates that integrates a speech recognition system with GIS software. The application receives a voice message from a sender, decomposes it, and extracts geographical names based on ontological structure and attribute (schema). The application was assessed by a survey to fifty Geography students. 78% of them found the cities/villages they are searching for within a minute through the voice search. However, 22% of them found difficulty in finding cities/villages with complex pronunciation. Diverse users may derive multiple benefits through the use of the methodology and the application developed here.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)889-899
Number of pages11
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 15 2019


  • GIS
  • Smart services
  • UAE
  • Voice maps

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development


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