Tvm: Kerala must be a better mapped state after the conclusion of the Kerala mapping party that concluded today in Trivandrum amidst security and ownership concerns. This one day event was the second mapping party to be organised by Google in India , after Bangalore. This marked the launch of a community mapping initiative of Kerala.
Interacting with the about 60 mappers from all over Kerala, Ajit Kumar, Programme Manager, Google Maps said, “While Google owns the data, it can be used for personal and non-commercial (non-profit) purpose without any restrictions. This should put to rest any concerns of the people here. On the security front, Google is talking to the Government at different levels to sort out the concerns.” While Google does not encourage the mapping of vital installations on an ethical basis, the focus is on mapping neighbourhoods.
Earlier inaugurating the mapping party, Satish Babu, President of InApp Technologies said that this is a community mapping initiative intended to train local hands in mapping neighbourhoods down to a resolution of one metre. The event hopes to make Kerala, particularly Trivandrum a better mapped place with relevant and rich local information such as roads, schools, hospitals, banks and such other important places entered by users, having local knowledge.
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Kerala Section and the Computer Society of India, Trivandrum Chapter were initially supporting the event but they backed off after the Police Intelligence wing expressed their concern.
Incidentally, there is an example of the Police leveraging Google Maps to their advantage. Cyberabad Police is using Google maps for traffic and accident mapping and all the information on this portal is available to the public.