Saturday, May 28, 2005

About two weeks back I had used Magellan GPS for the first time, a colleague dropped me at the hotel I am residing in and just to show me the stuff we tried to get directions from the device installed in his car. He was planning to gift it to his wife on wedding anniversary and according to him this was the only time he can actually using it, during trial. :)

I liked the device. The part that impressed me most was constraints on onscreen keyboard, If we wanted to type in a state name it would disable the letters that do not start any statename, if we typed C (for california in our case) it would show us only the letters that are valid to making up a state name and of course within three keystrokes we could get the name of state (google suggest, dictionary and translator in mac os x also support similar intelligence). Of course one could always disable this feature, but if I am the user I will definitely keep it on, it is so easy to make spelling mistakes in proper nouns.

The device allows you to choose helper voice and changes navigation directions if you take a wrong turn or don't take a suggested turn. It also keeps 'No Entry' roads in 'mind' while suggesting route (I don't know how the data is updated though).

For people living in US, GPS navigation aids are as common as a toothbrush but this was my first experience with GPS for this purpose, my first experience was in 98 when we were just measuring area of hockey field and cricket pitch in SAC grounds during two labs.

This forced me to think that it would be really very difficult to make such devices available in India because there is no GIS mapping available yet. Is there? With so many rules and regulation, I would tend to think that it would be controlled by government body which is still taking a nap untill some highly posted officer/minister at a takes a fancy to this technology and starts working towards making the information and technology available in India.

An offtopic quest.: Someone told me that in Tamilnadu there are so many temples that they actually have/had a minister and department for this.. do/did they?

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