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Google on Wednesday launched its Google Street View mapping product in India, which leverages the government’s new geospatial policy. Shortly after Google’s announcement, home-grown MapMyIndia introduced a product called Real View Maps, which provides “360-degree panoramic street views” and also includes the 3D service Metaverse Maps.
Although India is one of the leading markets for Google Maps, its Street View was rejected by regulators there back in 2016 following objections raised by security agencies. However, the country’s new National Geospatial Policy of 2021 allows such products to be operated by foreign companies if the imagery data is owned by Indian firms.
To that end, Google said it is licensing data from Tech Mahindra and mapping company Genesys International to launch Street View in India.
On the other hand, MapMyIndia does not have to face such restrictions. The company’s Real View Maps work on similar lines to Google Street View, allowing users to “virtually explore and interact with full 360-degree street panoramas” along with well-known tourist, residential and commercial locations in major Indian cities.
The company calls its primary mapping product Mappls, which competes with Google Maps, and RealView will compete with Street View. MapMyIndia said Mappls RealView map repository already covers “hundreds of thousands of kilometers”. Google said Street View will currently be available in 10 Indian cities and will cover 150,000 kilometers across the country. It plans to expand to another 50 by the end of the year cities..
Both Street View and RealView are available to public and private sector companies that want to integrate them into their applications and services, and to general users.
Rohan Verma, managing director and managing director of MapmyIndia, emphasized that RealView Maps is a “fully homegrown” alternative to foreign map apps.
Anupam Shukla, a partner at law firm Pioneer Legal, said that the introduction of such features by companies other than Google is good from the customer’s point of view because it offers more options.
However, he noted that the ubiquity of Google products and their seamless integration (Street View) with Google Maps gives Google an advantage over MapMyIndia as it defaults to Android devices.