One of the great things about the U.S. is the standardized address system which makes it so easy to locate any place. Almost every street has a name and each building has a number. Say you wanted to get from Washington, D.C. to Miami beach, it’s pretty straightforward.
Unfortunately there is no such thing as address standardization in India which makes it very hard to find directions. Yahoo! India Maps team has just released driving directions for Indian roads. An excerpt from an internal mail:
In India, we drive a little differently. We drive on the left. Or the right, if the left is occupied. We also give directions a little differently. “Third right after the big banyan tree on your left” might leave many bemused, but is guaranteed to lead the lost, out here. Starting today, you can search for driving directions, Indian style anywhere in India on the Yahoo! India Maps site.
We’ll tell you directions with landmarks to watch out for while taking turns. We’ll also tell you how many turns come before the one you have to make. So, go and take this feature out for a test drive and tell us what you think. If you, like us, spend a good portion of our lives arguing with auto rickshaw drivers on the correct fare, then you’ll be pleased to see the auto fare calculation along with the driving directions.
Enough said. Time for you to take a serious look at making this trip. 115 steps on the map, but a journey of a lifetime.
Some slick things that you may notice:
- Directions for all of India (well, wherever we have data) and wherever US Maps works.
- Landmarks and Nth left based directions. This is how you go from the Yahoo Office in MG road, Bangalore to the one at EGL.
- Auto richshaw fares. (A three wheeler cab that we use to commute)
- Directions in SMS/Text. (You’ve heard that a lot of people in India have mobiles, right?)
- One search box and hence multi way points. (such as this one)
- A lot of bugs.