The mapping race is heating up in India. Nokia on Thursday launched a community mapping program to source map data. Nokia will have a team of over 1000 people selected by HERE, the company’s mapping business, to crowd-source map data.
Two months ago, Nokia launched HERE for its new Asha 501 phone. The maps will also provide real time traffic view and satellite images.
Meanwhile, Google has partnered with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to capture 360 degree images of 100 heritage sites in India.
In crowd-sourcing map data, Google is way ahead of Nokia. While this is the first time the phone maker, which was recently acquired by Microsoft, is foraying into crowd sourcing map data, Google has been doing it for many years (first through employees and recently through public).
Google conducted the Mapathon 2013 across India between February- March 2013 with a theme “to help create better maps for India.” The online mapping contest, however, ran into trouble with the Government raising security concerns.
The search giant was unable to distribute prizes to the winners of the contest as it couldn’t receive a response from the Survey of India which was reviewing the map data collected during the competition. The Delhi Police had begun to investigate the contest after a complaint was filed against Google Mapathon 2013 in early April by the Survey of India.
Google has faced issues with the government many times before. In 2009, the map of Arunachal Pradesh was shown incorrectly. Google later clarified on the incident.
The company also ran into trouble when it launched Google Street View in Bangalore. The Bangalore Police Department raised objections, stating that Google did not have the required permissions and clearance for the Government and Ministry of Defense. Bangalore is home to many sensitive defense establishments.
According to a Google sponsored study by the Boston Consulting group, Geospatial services in India, an ecosystem made up of data providers, location enabled device manufacturers, app developers, experts and educators, already generate annual revenues of almost $3 billion and employ nearly 135,000 people in India.