Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Landmarks in India Directions

Sometimes map developers using the Google Maps API come up with a feature so clever that Google themselves end up implementing something very similar on Google Maps itself. That curse has now fallen on RouteGuru.

In India many streets don't have names, which of course can make giving driving directions pretty confusing. To overcome this problem RouteGuru devised a solution which they called 'landmark based' directions. A typical route in RouteGuru will say something like "take the left after restaurant X, pass by theatre Y on the right..etc.".

Guess what today Google have launched a 'landmark' system for driving directions on Google Maps in India. Google are using a new algorithm to determine which landmarks are most useful for navigation, based on importance and closeness to the turns that you need to make. They then include these landmarks in driving directions.

This new development will greatly improve driving directions for Indian users of Google Maps. It probably won't have such a positive impact on RouteGuru's traffic.

However, in Google's defence, the use of landmarks when giving directions in India is very common.

Via: Google India Blog


1 comment:

Avinash said...

@Keir, thanks for the mention.

One clarification:

Our landmark-based driving directions do not use any third-party API. They use our proprietary patent-pending landmark-intelligence-generation methods, and use a map dataset licensed from GIS division of Eicher Goodearth Ltd, publishers of the kick-ass Eicher City Map books.

We use Google Maps API to (and only to) display our route on a
graphical map.

Thanks again.

(CEO, RouteGuru)