Ed Sheeran spent some free time in between his sold out shows in Zurich at the Fondation Beyeler in Riehen. (Image: Keystone)
Ed Sheeran spent some free time in between his sold out shows in Zurich at the Fondation Beyeler in Riehen. (Image: Keystone)
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Local News Summary of August, 9th

  • Geoviewer: Basel’s own Google Maps is becoming more modern
  • Ed Sheeran in Riehen: Beyeler Foundation staff were not the only ones unaware of a visit from the musician

Geoviewer: Basel’s own Google Maps is becoming more modern

The Basel Construction and Traffic Department has this summer launched a new online city map. However, does anyone even need this these days, in the era of Google Maps?

It is almost unimaginable: as the Construction and Traffic Department (BVD) of Basel created its first online town map in 1999, the existence of Google Maps had not even entered the heads of the Californians. Whoever wants to see a map of Basel online hardly goes to the website of the canton of Basel-Stadt nowadays. Back then however, when the Internet was still in its infancy, the BVD was recording 500,000 online views annually of its online town map. Since then, things have changed a little. The offerings of the city have greatly increased in the last 20 years.

How did Basel look in 1870? How safe is the route to school for my children? Customised maps on a total of 110 topics are available on «MapBS». If you want, for example, to see all the trees in Basel on one map, then voila:

«With the new online MapBS we have reached a major milestone», Adrian Moser, department manager of Geo information at the Land Registry and Surveyor‘s Office stated. Similarly, there is a «Basel Stadtplan» App, which also makes it possible to access the map on mobile devices using Android and iOS.

In the rapid development of the Internet, the Basler Stadtplan has found its purpose in life. A simple city map, with just route descriptions, would be redundant these days. With easily available information on different topics the MapBS will become a very useful tool.

Trial ballon 3D-Viewer

Nevertheless, not everybody wants to take the opportunity of trying out the latest technology through the BVD. Recently, the «3D-Viewer Basel-Stadt» in a beta (trial) version, has been published. In terms of presentation, it cannot quite keep up with «Google Earth», but this also does not appear to be its goal: «3D-Viewer shold become a three-dimensional counterpart for MapsBS.» At a live presentation, functions such as how the shadow of different buildings is generated by a single mouse click, were demonstrated.

«At the moment we are developing a function which will enable us to visualise building projects in 3D Viewer», project leader Thomas Meuli explained. However, this is still in the development phase.

Department manager Adrian Moser stressed that the project is still in the testing phase. «There are many things which we must improve. There are still mistakes in the building visualisation.» This will be generated with a combination of areal photos and 3D models. «What will be important in the future is that we always have up-to-date areal photos. Currently, these photos are only taken every two to three years», Mr Moser said.

Augmented reality in the future

It is not only in the test version where a new augmented reality App can be found that the city has developed together with the Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz (university of applied sciences), FHNW. This should appear in autumn and make it possible to transform a simply city map into a 3D model using a mobile phone.

Much of this seems to have arisen from a gimmick, from which important experience has been collected. «The end goal is to stand outdoors with a mobile device and to be able point the phone at an area and see through augmented reality a planned building project», according to Land Registry and Surveying Office director, Simon Rolli. «I hope this will be possible in five years‘ time», he said.

In the time of Google Maps and numerous other online maps, Basel-Stadt is looking for a location to further develop the Geoviewers. With the new functions and applications, it seems to be successful. What the future brings for the Basel city map remains unknown, but it is certainly impressive.

Ed Sheeran in Riehen: Beyeler Foundation staff were not the only ones unaware of a visit from the musician

World famous Popstar Ed Sheeran visited the Beyeler Foundation art collection in Riehen on Saturday. While he was there he was almost unrecognised – until he gave the game away on his Instagram account.

The 27-year-old had some free time to enjoy some art between his sold-out concerts in the Letzigrund Stadium at the weekend. He took the opportunity to visit the Beyeler Foundation with his fiancée, Cherry Seaborn, and his bodyguard, Kevin Myers. While there, he seemed just like any other normal museum visitor, a witness told the 20-Minuten newspaper. With a few exceptions, the art scene probably did not recognise him.

Even the Beyeler Foundation staff had not known about his visit, they confirmed to barfi.ch. The world-famous star did not announce he was coming beforehand, and when he was in the museum he walked around freely. The Foundation staff had first learned about the famous celebrities who had visited them on Saturday after reading an article in a free newspaper.

However, Ed Sheeran then revealed himself on his Instagram account, when he posted a picture from the Beyeler Foundation in his story. His bodyguard, «securitykev», seemed to enjoy his art trip a lot less than Ed.