Google Maps in India

I’m still getting over the wonder of the fact that Google Maps has (as of April, I think) added driving directions for Indian cities. The street names and landmarks for major Indian cities also seem to have become much more detailed. It’s still not up to US level of usefulness, mostly because: (1) many streets in India are unnamed; (2) street names are not displayed prominently when on the road, reducing the effectiveness of printed driving directions, and (3) many streets are called by names other than their official ones (for example, “Hill Road” doesn’t actually show up on the map for Bandra).

Still, the idea of actually looking up Google Maps directions to get from one part of an Indian city to another would have seemed unthinkable a few years back. It’s also an indication of how much convergence is possible between countries like the US and India in terms of “soft” infrastructure like mapping technology, even if there is a wide divergence on the “hard” infrastructure aspects like roads and street signs.

Here is where we are currently. Viva la technology!


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