rediffmapsThe Maps space sure has been active these past month or so: Rediff has apparently soft-launched Rediff Maps, powered by ML Infomap, a Delhi based Geographical Information Systems service. It’s worth noting that Rediff Maps appears to have data only for India.

At first glance, the maps appear to be quite useful, with several landmarks already identified, the navigation smooth and very very fast…but I’m not sure if it is very accurate. Take a look a the following image: 

rediffmaps1

The location of the Civil Lines Metro station in Delhi is incorrect – it should have been located at the point that I have marked in blue. Secondly, Parmanand Hospital is marked twice in the same area, at two different locations. Rediff Maps and ML Infomap will have to refine their data. In quite a few instances (Versova, Mumbai, for example), there just isn’t enough detail.

Eventually the service with the more accurate data shall prevail; as it is, there is enough competition in the market, and with MapMyIndia, Google Maps, Navteq, Reliance BIG Maps, Nokia Maps and SatNav, Rediff Maps has its work cut out. 

Why it’s important

Location is fast becoming a key element of advertising related services, and a users location input adds an additional dimension to a users social graph and profile information. Like we were told in case of Nokia’s Ovi store today, it helps in serving up more relevant recommendations to a user. As these maps also become available on the mobile, a location  input available either via triangulation of mobile signals or GPS will allow users to be served advertising that is loation based as well.  

We’ve covered the GIS space extensively, of late. Do go through our previous articles:

— MapMyIndia Gets $9M; To Expand Overseas
— On Google Latitude Vs BIG Maps
— Microsoft Launches V2.0 Of Live Search Maps; Monetization Via API
— @Comsnets09: NAVTEQs Marc Naddell On Location Based Service Apps