Edushi (http://edushi.com/), as others have mentioned --- IIRC they were one of the first to market
Baidu rolled out their own offering in 2010 (go to http://maps.baidu.com/, pick a city from the menu on the right, and then click the "三维" button)
City8 (http://city8.com/) don't have 3D maps, but they have a Streetview equivalent which they've been working on since 2008 in Shanghai, Beijing, and other cities: http://en.city8.com/search/search.aspx
Couple of articles which may be interesting reading (in Chinese) --- touching on China-specific privacy, legal/data licensing issues, etc. surrounding these maps:
Shanghai skyscrapers: http://j.map.baidu.com/-FNB
Beijing Olympic stadium: http://j.map.baidu.com/TjNB
Edit: for some reason, the links don't work in Chrome. Firefox works though.
They had problems with providing a mapping service in China without a license though. They were forced to shutdown for a very long time + redesigned their website to survive. Make sure you get the right license first in China!
I wonder how frequently this will be updated. I notice several skyscrapers built over the past few months that aren't displayed yet (they only show the construction huts). So it's at least several months out of date.
This clearly has the most detail for zooming and browsing that I've seen, but for my day-to-day use I'll still be using map.sogou.com, which already has pretty good building and landmark decomposition, but has the best path-finder / location search of everyone in the market by far. I just made several queries on bj.o.cn that fell flat. For really hard-to-find places, I suspect I'll do my searching on sogou first, then pull up the closest landmark on o.cn and scroll over to where I want to be for a good visual description of where I'm going.
that's a crazy pace !, compared to seeing the same unmistakable window view at San Jose/ SF every single year.
It's a big job, and it's impressive, but it isn't "We had enough people to freehand a scale map of the entire country, bwahaha."
(Brief sketch of the Chinese room: there is a locked room with a slit which permits paper to come in and paper to go out. Inside the room is a man who does not speak Chinese. He receives paper with Chinese symbols on it, consults a vast library of books with rules on what to do in response to particular symbols, laboriously copies his response onto paper, and pushes it out through the slit. The response is intelligible as Chinese responsive to the input Chinese. Searle argues that the man can't understand Chinese. Personal opinion: it's navelgazing that only matters to philosophy, but I think the man and books together constitute a system which speaks Chinese, in the same way that people bidding in an auction together constitute an efficient price discovery mechanism even if none has expert knowledge of the "true value" of all items at auction.)
It raises an alternate formulation: What if the operation of the room was crowdsourced? What if the individuals of the crowd could communicate and organize, or what if not? Would that change the properties of the thought experiment in any interesting ways?
Obviously, if the room included Chinese people the language would have to be different. We could call it the "English room" thought experiment.
From early in Searle's paper: "Partisans of strong AI claim that in this question and answer sequence the machine is not only simulating a human ability but also 1. that the machine can literally be said to understand the story and provide the answers to questions, and 2. that what the machine and its program do explains the human ability to understand the story and answer questions about it. Both claims seem to me to be totally unsupported by Schank's work, as I will attempt to show in what follows."
And, just after describing the "Chinese room" scenario: "Now the claims made by strong AI are that the programmed computer understands the stories and that the program
in some sense explains human understanding. But we are now in a position to examine these claims in light of our
> human-like consciousness
No, Searle is not at all only concerned with "consciousness". Searle again:
""" "But could something think, understand, and so on solely in virtue of being a computer with the right sort of program? Could instantiating a program, the right program of course, by itself be a sufficient condition of understanding?" This I think is the right question to ask, though it is usually confused with one or more of the earlier questions, and the answer to it is no. """
(The focus on "consciousness" is a more recent development, and I cynically suspect it's motivated by a recognition that as far as anything we can observe goes, computers are in fact likely to be able to do everything humans can in the not too distant future -- so best to concentrate on something conveniently unfalsifiable, such as the claim that computers couldn't really be "conscious" even if they behaved in every respect exactly as if they were.)
Searle talks about "understanding" throughout. He occasionally makes reference to other mental capabilities, including "consciousness" once or twice, but "understanding" is much the most frequent.
- Human like understanding, i.e. awareness, consciousness
This is what the Chinese room experiment is designed to dispute
- Ability to produce appropriate output
We often use "understand" to mean this. e.g. "I wrote a parser that understands Ruby code and compiles it to C".
Of course the Chinese room "understands" Chinese in the second sense, but not the first sense.
You first quote is describing what I consider to be awareness/consciousness. Maybe Searle didn't use the same word, but I believe he's describing the same notion.
Think of it this way: a C compiler doesn't really "understand" C code in the same way that a human does. For instance, it can't make changes to the code. If it could, it would replace the programmer.
From wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_room
> The experiment is the centerpiece of Searle's Chinese Room Argument which holds that a program cannot give a computer a "mind" or "understanding", regardless of how intelligently it may make it behave.
Also, the real world tends to be more drab and polluted than these cheery 100% saturation renderings.
And of London:
It's amazing how our idea of what is unachievable by hand has been skewed by computer graphics!
Here's the map of Hangzhou.
I found an English version of the company behind Edushi:
The other side of the medal: those maps are creating a cute, sleek, clean and well-behaved view on the areas of high(est) population density ... they are I think heavily distorting the perception of the reality in those areas. I consider them a very strange way to do propaganda.
The reality is hidden by this means, which is the opposite of what maps/sat maps should be providing...
"Pixel Perfect" nails it quite good.
They are unrealistically perfect.
Constructed down to every pixel presented.
Event the most horrible sweatshops look cute in this renderings.
Are they doing this to get around some restrictions on showing real images?
i went to edushi to discuss a business opportunity, they were telling me how these were updated, i heard it's weekly. they also have a program with a school that teaches 3d studio max so they have a pipeline of people to help render these sim city like maps.
Can't read the language. What is this? The SimCity version of China?
Actually, I was making two jokes, the second being how the map was out of date the instance it was published, because of how quickly a city's buildings and streets can change in China.
Still, it is very nicely done!