Firms vie to give directions in Bengaluru

Some like it mapped

For Design Engineer Ashok Vasudevan, using a mobile phone to tell you which route to take is a nuisance. Ashok prefers using a map. Yes, how can one forget the good ol’ map? How many of us have even used a map apart from our geography classes in school? Ashok says, "I’m crazy about maps. I use the Eicher map. It’s easy to use as it first provides a complete map of Bangalore in two pages which is then divided into several numbered parts. These parts are then magnified in subsequent pages. It’s a handy tool to find your way through the city. Usage of this map has substantially improved my sense of direction during my travel within the city." Ashok maybe among the small section of people who would rather use a map to find their way through the city rather than an SMS service.

Companies like Eicher make maps which are extensive and give details like house numbers, building names and landmark points. But it isn’t just maps on paper. Companies like Google and Yahoo! have developed their own mapping services, in turn increasing the number of people using such services.

Yahoo! India Maps provide driving, biking or walking directions with landmark and turn based assistance. Says Shivkumar Ganesan, Product Manager, Yahoo! India Maps, "Yahoo! India Maps is a maps and directions service built specifically to cater to the travel and commute needs of Yahoo!’s users in India. Travelers/visitors from abroad are also potential users". You can even receive the information on your mobile phone. Their services also cater to the Kannadiga. Ganesan says, "One can see these maps by clicking the ‘Vernacular’ or ‘Kannada’ button. We also have a few exciting features planned for Bangalore, but can’t divulge any information on them now".

Google maps are also used by people to access information like addresses and directions to different locations. Manik Gupta, Product Manager, Google, says their focus is on innovative solutions to meet user requirements. "Google Maps for Mobile (GMM) is a downloadable application for the cell phone and has all the features available in the web-based maps product. It also has the ability to show the user his/her location regardless of the availability of GPS on the user’s cell phone", he says.

You may have lived in this city for decades but it is highly unlikely that you know every part of Bengaluru. And services like these only reiterate the fact that this city is growing and we need help finding our way. Prathibha Nandakumar refers to it in her poem, reflecting on how the city has grown and continues to do so.

…The traffic police was more helpful
`just go back and its at the first signals’
It was the same one I had passed…
…The post man, I thought would lead
`I am going on the other beat, this is the old number,
now all that has changed,88 comes after 97, ask any one’…
…I just stood there wondering which way to turn

About Vaishnavi Vittal 139 Articles

Vaishnavi Vittal is a Bangalore-based journalist.

3 Comments

  1. I would rather talk to the auto guy or some one on the road to get directions…please dont make bangalore another america where u can c only cars and no humans

  2. This is terrific! even though i have maps and see through it when required, i find it difficult to locate places. You have made a detailed analysis on few of the online and SMS service providers. Nice to know such services exists. Also since this is related to the GIS and mapping, you can study the services of the new airport cabs. They have made it compulsory to have the GIS based systems in all the cabs. May be slowly this will be made compulsory for all the 4 wheelers in the city. Best way to get used to such maps and GIS is to have them embedded to your vehicles. Just a thought! But it was a good read and am sure there will be a continuing thread of discussions and analysis on this. Thanks.

  3. Excellent resource for citizens of the city…
    I also use the service of BangaloreDreamz … give them a missed call on 08040164016 and they call you back with any info that you want SMS’d to you … of course not directions in its real sense … but addresses of commercial locations etc.,

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