Google Maps is back with Street View in India, six years after it was rejected by the government due to security concerns. This time around, Google is partnering with Tech Mahindra and Genesys to overcome regulatory issues around the collection and storing of geospatial data. At the same time, homegrown mapping services firm, MapmyIndia, has launched its own 3D version of map called Mappls RealView.

Street View allows 360-degree street-level imagery, and it is the first time in the world that Street View is being brought to life completely by local partners.

Street View will be available on Google Maps with fresh imagery, licensed from local partners covering 150,000 km across Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, Nashik, Vadodara, Ahmednagar and Amritsar. Google, Genesys International and Tech Mahindra plan to expand this to 50 cities by the end of 2022.

This is the second attempt by Google to launch Street View in India. In 2016, its proposal was rejected by the government due to security concerns. Miriam Karthika Daniel, V-P, Google Maps Experiences, explained the partnerships have come after the Indian government recently introduced a new policy regarding geospatial data and services, aiming to liberalise the access to such information among private players in India.

“Over the past 14 years, we have innovated to bring helpful, local and high-quality experiences to people across the nation. We believe the launch of Street View in India will be instrumental in delivering a more helpful user experience, from virtually visiting locations to getting a better sense of local businesses and establishments. This launch has been made possible only through collaborations with our local partners, Tech Mahindra and Genesys International,” said Daniel.

Meanwhile, homegrown mapping company MapmyIndia, has rolled out its own version of 3D maps called Mappls RealView.

Rohan Verma, CEO & Executive Director, MapmyIndia, said: “With Mappls RealView, users can virtually explore India like never before, and see and interact with full 360-degree view of streets and roads looking out into various tourist, residential and commercial areas of cities and travel destinations, as well as highways.”

Partnership with traffic authorities

But Google Maps has gone a step ahead and announced a slate of new partnerships in India with local authorities and organisations to bring more features customised to the unique and diverse needs of people.

Supporting the efforts of local traffic authorities to promote safe driving, Google Maps will show speed limits data shared by the traffic authorities, starting with Bengaluru.

Google has additionally partnered with traffic authorities and aggregators to help people across Delhi, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Gurgaon, Bangalore and Agra, helping them make informed travel decisions and avoid congestion zones with information on road closures and incidents.

In India, Google piloted its Environmental Insights Explorer, a free tool designed to help cities and local governments measure emissions and identify reduction strategies with the help of public transport activity data. Google today shared that Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune, and Aurangabad are using transport emissions data from EIE to develop Climate Action Plans. Google publicly launched Aurangabad’s EIE data, making it accessible to research organizations to help propose sustainable solutions to the city.

Google additionally announced its collaboration with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to help people in India make more informed travel decisions by equipping them with authoritative air quality information. People can access this information by tapping the ‘Layers’ button at the top right in their Maps app and selecting the ‘Air Quality’ option.

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