Here Announces Community Mapping Pilot Program In India

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HERE,which is the maps and location services business of Nokia, today announced that it is launching a community mapping pilot program in India, the first major country where HERE will combine its industrial data collection methods with a crowd mapping initiative.

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With a team of more than 1,000 people in India, the regional HERE will work directly with handpicked local experts from more than a dozen universities around the country, such as Mount Carmel College in Bangalore and the SAL Institute of Technology in Ahmedabad. Using Map Creator, a HERE tool that allows people to add missing streets, bridges, points of interests (POIs) and other information to the map, these local experts can share insider knowledge of the areas they know like the back of their hand and, in turn, put their communities on the map.

The students are not only local experts, but they know exactly how cartography works and they can provide highly relevant and useful edits. They are also part of a map moderation system that allows both the HERE team as well as the community at large to verify edits before integrating them into the base map. Once integrated, these changes will become available within days to all users across the wide range of HERE customers, including car manufacturers, personal navigation device makers, mobile device providers and Web and enterprise clients.

The need for this project has emanated from the fact that the world is continuously evolving with the addition of new roads, new infrastructure and even new names, and for HERE  maps to stay relevant they have to be continuously updated. In fast-growing countries like India, so diversely urbanized and cluttered, even a large, dedicated team of cartographers struggles to keep up with all the changes. HERE has  rolled out industrial capture methods in some of these areas, but they want to open up their maps to local experts for editing to further improve and humanize HERE.

The students are not only local experts, but they know exactly how cartography works and they can provide highly relevant and useful edits. They are also part of a map moderation system that allows both the HERE team as well as the community at large to verify edits before integrating them into the base map. Once integrated, these changes will become available within days to all users across the wide range of HERE customers, including car manufacturers, personal navigation device makers, mobile device providers and Web and enterprise clients.

The project in India is part of an ongoing series of pilot programs that HERE is using to enhance its community mapping capabilities and tap the knowledge of local experts.

“Sophisticated mapmaking is already a human- and capital-intensive business. Add to this the fact that the world around us is constantly evolving with the addition of new roads, new infrastructure and even new names, and cartographers simply can’t keep up,” said Michael Halbherr, EVP of HERE. “In vibrant, fast-growing countries like India a community mapping approach, paired with input from the right experts, means HERE can keep pace with the ever-evolving landscape so that our maps are never obsolete. Equally important, however, is not just the pure number of people contributing to our map-making community, but that we work with the right experts.”

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