Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Vandutangayya, vandhutaanga !

When I first heard that Google was going to map India using vans, I was surprised…..I mean even mapping a city in India would take for ages given that they have no accurate public data to access and they would have to keep driving forever in the traffic to do the mapping themselves. But Google is smarter than that, they are going to use the best resource from India, millions of Indians, to create the maps for them with the Google Internet Bus initiative.

With people getting educated about internet, maps and map making, it will sure be exciting for them to create maps of their neighbourhood. It brings with it an excitement that is akin to what one experienced when one first created an email id or got exposed to a chat tool or even Orkut. I remember how hooked I was in the first 10 days, I spent most of my time awake glued to my laptop and this is exactly what they are counting on, I guess !

They have first started in Kerala…maybe because of the google team using this as an excuse to get ayurvedic massages and boat-house stays while they are touring :D or maybe because of the browsing stats from Kerala!

I am excited, really excited to see the power of user-generated content from a country with millions of users (yes, yes, we have more than a billion people but not all of them use Google, right ?)...and am keeping my fingers crossed....

Update 1:
The bus has apparently already toured Tamilnadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Did anyone see it, take a tour ? Let me know !

Update 2, as on 18 Dec:
I read another article on this subject and I find the technique of using landmarks for giving directions simply brilliant especially in a place like India where street names have very less value unless it is a prominent one (like Mount Road, CP Ramaswamy road in Chennai). I thought about the street where my school is located and I think it is 4th trust cross street but I am not sure and I went to this school for 12 years ! But everyone in Mandaveli knows where St.John's is and that will definitely be used for giving directions.
Hit Counter
Website Hit Counter I had decided to have a counter only after I hit a 1000 views and since it happened last week (as on 14 Dec 2009), now is the time to see some stats :)