GPS, to lead us home and quickly

The week that saw these geographic images coming in also saw India’s two leading players in the growing niche of global positioning satellite (GPS)-based navigation tools announce compelling extensions to their product range: between them, they have extended the reach and affordability of such solutions so that the rest of us — not just owners of pricey cars — can say, “GPS, lead me home!”
The Hyderabad-based SatNav Technologies has launched voice prompts in nine languages — Bengali, English, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Oriya, Tamil and Telugu — to augment its Satguide map offerings. These work with laptops, desktop PCs, hand-held computers and mobile phones which are GPS-enabled.

The cost of mag guides ranges from about Rs. 1,200 for one city to Rs. 4,300 for 30 cities in India. If you don’t have the GPS receiver, it can be had for around Rs. 5,000 ( MapmyIndia, based in Delhi, has extended its solutions to the GPS-enabled mobile phone, with the launch of iNav.

It covers 18 major cities with detailed street-by-street maps, and helps to set up routes to 55,000 towns and villages.

Buyers have the choice of paying a monthly Rs. 249 for the service or uploading the full map data to their phones for Rs. 1,200 (one State) or Rs. 4,500 for all India.

Monthly subscribers would need an Internet connection with their phones to access the service ( The solution already comes preloaded on some Blackberry or Sony Ericsson phones in India.

Handset makers like Nokia also offer dedicated navigation phones such as 6110 which come preloaded with navigation solutions for India.

The latest 6210 Navigator, soon to be launched, includes a compass for pedestrian users.

Credit:Anand Parthasarathy


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