Locals to take part in filling in the gaps on HERE's maps
HERE, a Nokia business, has announced it is launching a community mapping pilot programme in India, the first major country where HERE will combine its industrial data collection methods with a crowd mapping initiative.
By balancing both its advanced industrial capture methods and contributions from residents of local communities, HERE is ensuring that its maps consistently provide the freshest, most precise and locally relevant information.
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.
To maintain accuracy and ensure map quality, HERE has built a community map moderation system that allows both Nokia's 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 automakers, personal navigation device manufactures, mobile device makers and web and enterprise clients.
Given India's diverse urbanisation patterns, HERE will work with a variety of communities across the country. In smaller towns and cities, locals will help HERE build out road networks, while in densely populated areas contributors will provide information about points of interest and capture changes. HERE has already rolled out industrial capture methods in some of these areas, but local communities can further improve and humanise HERE Maps.
'HERE aims to comprehensively and accurately map one of the most geographically diverse countries, India,' said Neil Shah, research director, Counterpoint Research. 'HERE will employ its global crowdsourcing pilot programme to tap the expert 'know where' of a billion Indian consumers. This initiative will help HERE gain a sizeable competitive edge with broader and denser mapping coverage in one of the most multi-faceted geographies globally.'
The project in India is part of an ongoing series of pilot programmes that HERE is using to enhance its community mapping capabilities and tap the knowledge of local experts.
Added Michael Halbherr, EVP at HERE: '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. 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.'