Today we’re announcing a brave new move forward in modern cartography. Starting with India, we’re about to marry industrial capture methods with community mapping.
By doing so, we’re simultaneously allowing local experts to edit our maps, but also making sure that these edits are of automotive grade quality.
We’re particularly proud of the highly sophisticated way we map the world. It’s a human- and capital-intensive business. We’re the trusted partners of the automotive industry because we have highly accurate maps, so accurate that we can enable driverless cars, and we double-check every change to those maps.
However, the world around is continuously evolving with the addition of new roads, new infrastructure and even new names: for our 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.
So, although we have rolled out industrial capture methods in some of these areas, we want to open up our maps to local experts for editing to further improve and humanize HERE.
Choosing the right experts
When we say experts, we mean it, because we believe that quality is more important than quantity. So we teamed up with geography and cartography students in many Indian colleges who are using Map Creator, our community-editing tool.
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.
India is a big country in which urbanization follows different patterns in different areas. Which is why the community is helping us updating our POI listings in big cities, while mapping road networks in more remote areas.
The project in India is part of an on-going series of pilot programmes that HERE is using to enhance its community mapping capabilities and tap the knowledge of local experts.
Why are these experts doing this?
We spent some time chatting with Geography students at the Kamala Nehru College in Delhi to find out more about their involvement in the project.
Student Rituparna Bhattacharya and her teacher Renu Malhotra, from the Kamala Nehru College, recognize the importance for them to acquire mapping experience with practical applications like Map Creator. At the same time, they are helping HERE by mapping even the most remote areas of India.
Disha Dwivedi and Radhika Sharma are very committed to map their hometowns and the places they go very often first.
And when asked why she’s doing this, Aishwarya Shekhar told us that her work is going to make a real impact, helping people all over the country finding their way.
Saanvi Vashisht is so excited by the project that she has come to see her future career in mapping. We’re happy for her: it’s an exciting industry.