Posted by: KG | Friday, January 13, 2006

Towards seeing the patti-thottis (in tamil) on my map…

MS India Research

For long, I had been thinking of how India doesn’t have its indigenous Google. Without that it is hard to savor the true potential of services like Google Local/Maps/Earth which lack regional content, atleast as of now. The current offerings from all international companies reach India, very late.

On the web, if it isn’t live, it is very late 😉

For some time, everyone has known Microsoft India is right into indigenous technology featuring local languages such as Hindi/Tamil/Kannada/Telugu in its OS and some other offerings.

Search Engine Watch reports the first public demonstration of a “multilingual interactive digital map” prototype from MS Research India. (I did hear recently that the DST is working on such a project) The project powered by Microsoft Virtual Earth is still not live and is just a prototype which means as of today, we get to see only the ‘kewl’ images as the one above. They say it will be available soon. There is a forum incase you have feedback or questions.

Important thing to note: It is going to be community driven which is the in-thing for web services these days. Is it going to be Wiki-like then?

Good start, guys. Keep it going and updated! Get it live first. (Soon Bangalore will be Bengalooru. Hope that will be updated too!)

P.S: I strongly feel there is space for one or more indigenous startups to make it big in playing the local Google/Yahoo.

Joseph, MS Virtual India Project Lead replies to my query on their forum:


Nice effort. When is expected to go live? If its community driven, will be it like a Wiki??


We will go live in 24 hours, assuming everything goes according to plan. It’s a relatively small deployment — 3-4 servers, so let’s hope we don’t get swamped — we’ll see how things play out and respoind accordingly.

yes, the “community pushpins” is definitely “Wiki-ish”. Right now it’s free-for all. So don’t put too much effort putting in stuff unless you’re ok with other people stamping over it. It’s all highly experimental at this stage! Over time we’ll add features like having authenticated users monitor certain “amespaces”, lock down content, etc.

But we also intend to work with government agencies and NGOS over time to enable them to dissiminate and overlay information.



  1. The MS ‘Virtual India’ product is mired with controversies.

    Check the forum

  2. one does expect a prototype to go thru some trouble…thanks for the info.

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