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