India’s Centre for Development of Advanced Computing, better known as CDAC, has launched Saarathy. Saarathy offers multilingual support – in English, Hindi and Malayalam, with the option of incorporating more languages. CDAC believes that the adoption of location based services is limited largely because of a lack of awareness and users inability to operate the system because of a language divide. The application offers routes, and warns users when they veer off-course.
The Saarathy application reads map layers like roads, landmarks etc, and also incorporates an emergency button which allows a user to send a rescuer mobile an SMS. The rescuer mobile will display the position of the user on a map background.Saarathy allows users to create and save new GPS paths, as well as replay saved paths from other sources – for example, a KML file from Google Earth can be shown on the application, according to this presentation (PPS). It also allows users to GeoTag photographs.
API? Open Source LBS Development?
This reminds me of a conference I had attended three years ago, titled Owning the Future: CDAC had been criticized for using taxpayers money for developing fonts and software, and then trying to monetize it by charging taxpayers for it. If the greater common good is the key concern for organizations like CDAC, then they should make applications like Saarathy open source, or at least open up the API to allow development using Saarathy as a base application.
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Our coverage of the Location Based Services segment.