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Google, where’s our street maps?

I’m still waiting for my street level maps from Google. I know it’s hard to gather all that data for the entire world and resources might be scant. In the US, Microsoft is lugging it out with Google in taking street-level 3D pictures. Just look at their click-happy SUV armada prowling the streets and taking hi-res pictures for geo-mapping.


Photo intentionally stolen from Gizmodo

We can only wish we have that here too, but I guess we’ll have to wait until they all finish mapping the entire United States (which could take, gasp, decades!).

However, what got my curiosity is their project in Hyderabad, India. O’Reilley Radar reports Google Uses Crowdsourcing To Create Maps In India:

Google has been sending GPS kits to India that enable locals to make more detailed maps of their area. After the data has been uploaded and then verified against other participant’s data it becomes a part of the map. The process is very reminiscent of what Open Street Map, the community map-building project, has been doing. The biggest difference is that the data (to my knowledge) is owned by Google and is not freely available back to the community like it is with OSM.

Why not send some of them GPS kits to Manila too? I’m sure a lot of our Google-loving fans out here would be more than willing to lend out a hand.

Any volunteers?


Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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21 Responses

  1. Jaypee says:

    I think it will be a while before Google sends a kit to the Philippines. Aside from out very unruly and narrow streets and roads, we have a habit of changing street names very often.

  2. Dusty says:

    If & when the time comes ……. I volunteer! =)

  3. Eugene says:

    This post reminds me that I need to do a feature post about OpenStreetMap. It’s a UK-originated community mapping project that primarily depends on user-uploaded GPS tracks to create a CC-licensed street map data. They started with the UK and have now rolled it internationally.

    The Philippine coverage is expectedly a bit scanty, but most of the major streets of Metro Manila is now covered. So those lucky people with N95’s, go out and contribute!

  4. Eugene says:

    Well, I’ve now blogged about OpenStreetMap. If we can get good enough data in OSM, we don’t need Google to supply is with street maps, since we can overlay the OSM data on Google Maps (or Yahoo! Maps or Live Local). :)

  5. talksmart says:

    I posted a reply for Yuga and Eugene ;-) Visit my link.

  6. I guess my first question, especially to those who already “know” Google won’t provide laner equipment is, has anyone asked? They do have an office right her ein the Philippines, although that persoanlly I find them rather difficult to get in touch with.

    This is a subject near and dear to my heart. I’m ready to contrbute rooftop space, driving time and diesel fuel … who is making the request/heading up the effort … and who else is blogging about it. I referenced Yuga’s post here:
    http://www.satviz.com
    http://www.philfaqs.com

  7. Talksmart says:

    The truth about mapping our roads is discussed in my post – citing Yuga’s post and Eugene’s reply. Just click on my name. Thanks

  8. Eugene says:

    @talksmart, I’ve responded to your concerns regarding creating street maps using satellite images in your blog. In short, extracting street data from satellite images for the level of utility required by the general population is pretty much viable; most people don’t really care that EDSA is this much meters wide between Annapolis and Bonny Serrano so extremely accurate digitization of maps is not needed for Google Maps.

  9. issai says:

    i tried zooming in our province but image not available :(

  10. Anton says:

    if they do come in.. id like to be part of the survey team!

  11. Eugene says:

    Why wait for Google to give us tools to start mapping our streets? We can do it ourselves. (Of course, Google can just take the easy way out and license some local GIS company’s data.) :)

  12. Vadim Berman says:

    (OK, it’s a late reply, I know.)

    Guys, Google does NOT build its own maps. They buy them – if you look at the European ones, you’ll see Tele Atlas all over; on American ones, you’ll see NAVTEQ.

    Incidentally, my company was doing some development related to the field, and I can tell, that you have a handful of very good geographic data providers.

    If you are looking for those on the web, you should go here:
    http://www.mapcentral.ph

    Excellent maps. Plus there are these guys:
    http://www.perspective-gis.com/GISMaps.htm (you can get GPS maps here, too)
    and these:
    http://www.ants.ph

    So why no Google Map support then?

    I personally talked to some of these providers, and they said that it just doesn’t pay to sell their maps to Google. According to them, Google is just plain stingy when it comes to countries not in their focus, and they are offered ridiculously low royalties for their data which they built with sweat and tears.

    And you guys are not the only ones:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coverage_details_of_Google_Maps

    Malaysia, Viet Nam, South Africa, many European countries are not covered too (I’m not counting those with highways only, it’s not exactly helping).

  13. Eugene says:

    @Vadim, I’m not sure if it’s a coincidence that you commented on June 24, but that’s the date Google released Map Maker, which creates/updates mapping data not from Navteq and TeleAtlas. Google is now spearheading crowd-sourcing efforts to generate map data and not just licensing them from third-party providers. This has been done before with the India, Kenya, and Myanmar maps.

  14. rico says:

    whom of you is willing to bring GPS to philippines? i need free manpower. Its just for the country? anybody interested please contact me and lets do it. i am 30% done..

  15. Hello, just browsing for information for my Annapolis 4g site. Lots of information out there. Wasn’t what I was looking for, but nice site. Have a great day.

  16. I’ve study some good products here. Certainly worth social bookmarking regarding returning to.

  17. rsgoldjw says:

    very good, it’s very useful to me, thank you very much!

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