11/3/08

Microsoft Launches Live Search Maps for India

. 11/3/08

Microsoft India has launched Live Search Maps for India that offers users access to detailed listings and street maps for 9 cities, business listings across 29 cities and access to highway networks to 20,000 cities and towns.

Live Search Maps for India is on Microsoft's Live Search Service, thereby allowing users to search for geographical information, places of general interest and business listings both on the PC and Mobile at http://mapindia.live.com/ and http://mindia.live.com/. This is the first version of its local mapping service for India with the key features developed by the Microsoft India Development Center (MSIDC) based in Hyderabad.

Rishi Srivastava, Consumer and Online Marketing Operations Head, Microsoft India, said, "We are proud to launch Live Search Maps for users in our country. This is the first version of Live Search Maps for India and Microsoft will continue to introduce new features and improvements in the near future to meet emerging needs of consumers. Over the last two years, Microsoft has made significant investments into research and development for Live Search, acquired global resources and introduced several new features which we believe are extremely relevant and will deliver great value to our users. Live Search Maps will be accessible on the PC and the mobile, thus ensuring that users get the information they need anytime."

Key features of Live Search Maps for India include Street Maps, Location Search, Business Listing Search, Routing or Directions for Navigation and options for users to print, share collections through email, blogs on Windows Live.

"After recent innovations for Live Search such as Image Search, Video Search, Local Search, xRank and Instant Answers, we have rolled out Live Search Maps on our search platform to enable people to learn, discover and explore specific locations in India," added Srivastava.

Microsoft said some of the unique aspects about Location Search on Live Search Maps are its global relevance, context-awareness, error-tolerance, partial decoding of address, acronym expansion, road intersection and context sensitive global fuzzy search.

Several key innovations and features of Live Search Maps India were developed at MSIDC based on it research and understanding of the search needs of users in India; thus ensuring local relevance and customization of the product, Live Search Maps on Mobile is a Direct To Consumer (DTC) service without requiring one-on-one relationships with the mobile carriers. It leverages the Live Search Maps for India to deliver 2D Mobile Maps, Location Search and Driving Directions and supports Adaptive Rendering for results from Web, News, Instant Answers and Spaces Search.

"In the near future we plan to add new features such as Landmark Based Driving Directions, Collections Search, options for Enterprise Customers and Developer community to create custom mash-ups, along with satellite imagery and related features for India and key cities," said, Gurpreet S. Pall, General Manager - Live Search and MSN Technologies, Microsoft India Development Center. "Live Search Maps India was created after carefully studying search and map information needs of Indian consumers and will continue to be improved in terms of coverage of cities, details of locations, search relevance and overall user experience."

Live Search Maps India is powered by the Microsoft Virtual Earth platform, draws information through multiple local vendor sources such as NavTeq and uses Government of India approved data. NavTeq provided Microsoft the data for the maps on Live Search Maps in India.

"We are proud to be working with Microsoft in its launch of Live Search Maps for India. Together we have brought Live Search Maps India to consumers in a manner that provides value to the users by delivering quality data that is relevant to them. And it is notable that Live Search Maps has the approval from the Government of India. We are proud that Microsoft has recognized the depth and quality of our India map data, and we look forward to continuing to play a role as we both expand our presence in this key market," said Rich Shuman, senior vice president Asia-Pacific Sales, NavTeq.

Users can now access on their PC or Mobile...
- Addresses, roads, localities, landmarks, detailed street maps and places of general interest like monuments, restaurants, hotels and other places of interest across 9 Indian cities - Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Ahmedabad and Jaipur.
- Business listings across 29 major Indian cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Agra, Allahabad, Amritsar, Bhubaneshwar, Chandigarh, Cochin, Coimbatore, Jaipur, Jalandhar, Kanpur, Lucknow, Ludhiana, Mangalore, Nagpur, Nasik, Patiala, Patna, Rajkot, Surat, Vadodara and Vishakapatnam.
- Basic geographical information on the national road network of India across 20,000 cities and towns.

How Can Live Search Maps Help?
- Short city names such as "Blr", "Hyd", "Dl" will take you to the city of Bangalore, Hyderabad or Delhi. While you are in a particular city, say, Bangalore, "MG Road" will show the MG Road on the map of Bangalore and other MG Roads in India as suggestions.
- While you are in Hyderabad, the query "Bangalore Golf Course" will place the pushpin on the "Bangalore Golf Course, Bangalore" at their exact position on the map while showing other golf courses in India as suggestions.
- "Airport, Delhi" will lead to the "Indira Gandhi International Airport, Gurgaon Road, New Delhi, Delhi" at the exact position on the map.
- If a user poses the location query "#643, Janu's Residency, CMH Road, 100 ft road, Blr" it will return with the suggestion "Chinmaya Mission Hospital Road, 100 Feet Road, Indiranagar, Bangalore, Karnataka, India".
- If user is in Bangalore and queries for "MG Road", he will get "MG Road, Bangalore". If the user searches for "Begumpet", he or she will get "Begumpet, Hyderabad"





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