Google will relaunch its Street View service for India with new imagery licensed by local companies. Google has teamed up with Tech Mahindra, Genesys International, and other local authorities to bring Street View to 10 major cities in India. The company also works to reduce road congestion and assist India in meeting its climate change goals.
Google India states in a blog that the launch of Street View in India marks the first time Street View data collection has been brought to life by local partners. This announcement comes six years after the government rejected plans by the tech giant to post street-level 360-degree, panoramic, and other imagery online. It was done due to security concerns.
Street View launches after India’s revisions to geospatial guidelines. The Department of Science and Technology issued guidelines in February 2022 for geospatial data, encouraging the development of mapping technology companies within the country. The policy prohibits foreign companies from using data beyond 1 meter and requires that such companies only use APIs issued by licensed domestic licensees. The policy stipulates that the data must be kept local and should not be transferred to any other entity.
Miriam Daniel from Google Maps said the new guidelines enabled Google to collect and utilize geospatial images in India through partnerships. She said, “The policy is clear. It details who can access the data and at what level of accuracy. Who can they share the data with, license it, and how it can be used. Daniel stated, “All of this is laid out.”
Street View is now available for 10 Indian cities: Chennai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Pune, Amritsar, Ahmednagar, Nashik, Hyderabad, and Vadodara. Google plans to expand the service to more than 50 cities before 2022.
Google Maps boasts many features and capabilities developed through deep collaborations with local officials and companies.
“We were the pioneer Indian company to take street photography of all major Indian cities. Our fleet continues to photograph Indian cities fast, bringing out the city’s incredible tapestry streets and landmarks and allowing us to plan our trips and visit old neighborhoods,” Sajid Malik is managing director at Genesys International.
Being on time to work is an achievement. It is hard work for those who drive on Indian roads. Indians accept this problem as part of their daily lives. Street View offers “helpful and charming features tailored to the individual needs of each country.”
Street View can now be launched via Google Maps. Let’s users find the nearest cafes and cultural hotspots or explore the neighborhood. Users can zoom in on any road in these target cities and tap the area to view. According to the company, “Street View allows you to explore and navigate new parts of the country and the globe in an easier visual and accurate manner, enabling you to fully experience what it’s like to be there, right from your smartphone or computer.”
Google has also made the API available for local developers, allowing them to use its mapping experiences in their apps and services.
Birendra Sen (business head and Business Process Services at Tech Mahindra) says there is a growing need for technologies that translate GIS (Geographic Information Systems) into ready products that customers can use. “Our partnership is yet another step in delivering rich, immersive mapping experiences for the people of India.”
Google Maps will now provide speed limit information, which has been shared by traffic authorities in order to help improve road safety efforts. “We are looking forwards to partnering with other cities in surfacing speed limit info on Google Maps,” says the company. Google also announced partnerships to assist India in improving road safety and reducing traffic congestion.
Google teams used traffic patterns and machine learning to help cities optimize traffic light timings which helped minimize wait times at road congestion, intersections, and carbon emissions. We have seen great results from our partnership with Bengaluru traffic officers to optimize their traffic light timings. The pilot saw a nearly 20% reduction in congestion at all intersections. “We will be expanding this pilot to Bengaluru and Kolkata, as well as Hyderabad, in the coming months,” says the tech giant.