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ISRO and MapmyIndia developing an Indian alternative to Google Maps


LAST UPDATED: Feb. 13, 2021, 11:34 a.m.

New Delhi (Anish Yande): The Indian Space Research Organisation and MapmyIndia have commenced collaboration for developing an alternative to Google Maps and Google Earth. The space organization and the deep-tech company would be developing an indigenous mapping and navigation service.

ISRO and MapmyIndia to develop Indian navigation service:

The Indian map navigation service would bring together the ISRO’s database of satellite imaging and observed data of the Earth along with the mapping technology of MapmyIndia’s digital maps. 

MapmyIndia and ISRO would be aiming to provide a more detailed and comprehensive navigation service. The collaboration would be focused on the privacy of Indian users as well. MapmyIndia had raised concerns of data and privacy concerns while Indian users operate foreign navigation services. 

The Department of Space has signed an MoU with the technology company CE Info Systems, which owns and operates MapmyIndia. The Central government had rolled out an initiative to expand space exploration to private firms in June 2020. 

Navigation service from MapmyIndia:

Rohan Verma, the CEO and Executive Director of MapmyIndia, has termed the collaboration as a milestone in India’s journey towards Aatmanirbhar Bharat.

Verma said that MapmyIndia would ensure that it hosts its maps in India. The maps from MapmyIndia would reflect the true sovereignty of India, depicting borders as depicted by the Government of India. 

Maps from MapmyIndia cover more than 7,500 Indian cities and 7.5 lakh villages. The mapping service would connect more than 63 lakh road networks across India. MapmyIndia provides maps for more than 3 crore places across India, the company has claimed. 

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The CEO of MapmyIndia said that the foreign navigation services such as Google make money through advertising the private location and movement data of users. The upcoming service would ensure user privacy and not have an advertising business model.

The MapmyIndia maps would be kept free for users and free of ads as well, Verma stated. The maps would also provide Indian researchers and scientists with tools from India’s satellite imagery, advanced geospatial technologies, and digital map data. 

Image Credit: Google

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