The Indian streets really have no name – and if they have one, it isn’t used.
Moreover, the addresses in India aren’t structured at all. A Bangalore address reads as “X Cross, Y main, “, while an address in Delhi reads as “Near XYZ chowk, Sector-N”.
And that’s the major challenge with any map based solution. Be it Y! India maps, or Google – the maps are utterly useless when it comes to relevancy.
So, RouteGuru took the “Indian” way of locating an address – i.e. using landmarks. A typical route in RouteGuru reads as “take the left after restaurant X, pass by theatre Y on right..etc”
All you need to do is enter your source and destination addresses and RouteGuru will provide you the complete driving direction. You can SMS the direction to a mobile number too (for free).
RouteGuru is currently available in NCR region, but will very soon expand to other cities.
Areas of improvement:
One of the challenge I see for RouteGuru is with cities like Bangalore, where new one-ways are added every other week, which in turn means RouteGuru needs to update their route indexes very very frequently.
Also, I expect RouteGuru to use the “direction sense of community” to identify alternative route/path to the destination. Infact, they can start off with basic rating mechanism to rate whether the route presented is optimum or not (i.e. collect feedbacks from the end users, who might be just testing RouteGuru for relevancy).
If you are in Delhi, do give RouteGuru a spin and share your comments. I have asked couple of friends and looks like it works really well, but at the same time the directions are too detailed out (route has mentions of small restaurants which aren’t really landmarks and are too difficult to locate).
What do you guys say?
Overall speaking, RouteGuru is thinking out of the box and is solving a major pain (in the best possible manner). I am impressed and do look forward to their Bangalore edition.