Home / Technology / News /  Google, MapMyIndia announce 3D maps for Indian cities

NEW DELHI : Google launched its Google Street View mapping product in India on Wednesday, capitalizing on the government’s new geospatial policy. Shortly after Google’s announcement, homegrown MapMyIndia, unveiled a product called Real View Maps, which provides “360-degree panoramic street view" and also includes a 3D Metaverse Maps Service.

Though India is one of the top markets for Google Maps, its Street View was rejected by the country’s regulators back in 2016 following objections raised by security agencies. The country’s new National Geospatial Policy, 2021 however, allows such products to be operated by foreign companies, as long as the imagery data is owned by Indian firms.

To that end, Google said it is licensing the data from Tech Mahindra and mapping firm Genesys International to launch Street View in India.

MapMyIndia, on the other hand, doesn’t have to deal with such limitations. The company’s Real View Maps works on similar lines as Google Street View and allows users to “virtually explore and interact with full 360-degree panoramas of streets" along with famous tourist, residential and commercial spots in major Indian cities.

The company calls its primary mapping product Mappls, which competes with Google Maps, and RealView will compete with Street View. MapMyIndia said Mappls RealView maps repository already covers “hundreds of thousands of kilometers". Google said that Street View will be available in 10 Indian cities presently and cover 150,000 kilometres across the country. It plans to grow to 50 more cities by this year-end.

Both Street View and RealView are available to public and private sector companies that want to integrate it into their apps and services, and to regular users.

Rohan Verma, chief executive and executive director of MapmyIndia emphasized that RealView Maps is a “fully indigenous" alternative to foreign map apps.

Anupam Shukla, partner at law firm Pioneer Legal, said the roll out of such features by companies other than Google is good from a customer point of view as it offers more options.

He, however, noted that given the ubiquitousness of Google products and how seamlessly it (Street View) will integrate with Google Maps, gives Google an advantage over MapMyIndia, as it is a default on Android devices.

As a result, Google’s Street View will get “much faster market penetration" than rivals unless they are able to offer a “differentiated experience" to users.

MapMyIndia, on the other hand, is known for its navigation devices for automobiles. The company has made progress in its digital maps portfolio by launching several new apps catering to diverse sectors.

For instance, MapMyIndia Navic alerts fishermen about adverse weather conditions in sea or when they cross international maritime borders. Similarly, the WorkMate app allows companies to manage their on-field staff, while MyKids is a school bus monitoring app for parents.

The company also provides map data to Apple Maps in India. In February 2021, MapMyIndia announced a partnership with Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) to develop mapping portals, apps, and geospatial software. The satellite imagery from Isro has allowed MapMyIndia to offer vegetation, heat and air quality maps in its apps. RealView locations will also use satellite imagery provided by Isro along with data captured through drones and vehicles.


Abhijit Ahaskar

Abhijit writes on tech policy, gaming, security, AI, robotics, electronics and startups. He has been in the media industry for over 12 years.
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