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Salim Ghauri: Leading the Way as President of TiE Lahore Chapter and American Business Forum


Google’s popular Street View feature has rolled out across India after twice failing to get a foothold in the country. The 360-degree view of streets and schools — among other places — is now available in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Nashik, Vadodara, Ahmedabad, and others. In addition, the search giant has added speed limit data and air quality information to Google Maps in India.

Google has worked with local firms to capture images for its maps, which aligns with India’s National Geospatial Policy 2021 guidelines. The firm partnered with mapping solutions provider Genesys International and technology services company Tech Mahindra for this project. Under the policy, local companies can collect geospatial data, and foreign firms can license it.

The Google Maps team has also tweaked its service for Indian users by adding speed limit data shared by traffic authorities to the app. The update is meant to encourage safe driving by making it easier to track and avoid speeding fines. In addition, the Android maker also teamed up with the Central Pollution Control Board to display “authoritative air quality information” on its maps.

As part of the expansion, the Street View team also captured schools and villages to give people a glimpse of their daily lives in remote locations. The images will be available on Google Maps and the company’s Google Earth platform. In a blog post, Google plans to add more school and village images.

Street View returned to India last year but initially covered only a few places. However, the team expanded the coverage this year. India Today Tech noticed the expansion last week and found that many remote areas had been updated with new Street View imagery. The blog post says the team aims to cover 50 cities by 2022 with new Street View imagery.

While the new imagery shows that most significant urban centers are now accessible, the Street View still does not cover every nook and cranny. That’s likely because security concerns prevented Google from going into sensitive areas. In some cases, construction might have blocked the cars’ access, or the car’s cameras might have malfunctioned. So, for example, a wide swath of Hunters Point in San Francisco doesn’t appear on the service even though adjacent roads are covered.

In the future, Google may introduce a feature that allows users to take virtual strolls of their neighborhood with the help of a smartphone. Such a feature could be helpful for local businesses that want to promote their products or services to potential customers in their area. In addition, it would be helpful for homeowners who want to know more about their area before buying a home. This kind of virtual tourism is a growing business for companies like Airbnb and HomeAway. Google has been working to expand its offerings in this space for years.



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