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Bhuvan Goes Mobile, But Not On Play Store

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has launched a mobile version of its Google-Earth like satellite mapping tool Bhuvan. The Bhuvan mobile app is accessible from bhuvan3.nrsc.gov.in/bhuvan/mobile/mobile.html or users can download its Android app (direct link to the apk file). Features: We tried out the app on our Android handset (Micromax A90S). The app just provides a Google-Earth like satellite map on the screen. One can search for any location from the search bar on the top of the app or allow the app to track device location through phone's GPS.   The zoomed in maps provided by the apps is very funny -- it's blurry and has nrsc/ISRO image watermarked all over the maps. One can also add layers such as place names and Rediff Map on it. The Rediff Map layer adds railway tracks, road, highways, and more towns/cities names. Comparatively Google Earth for Android provides layers to browse roads, borders, places, photos and 3D imagery in some cities such as San Francisco, Boston, Rome, among others. Why not submit to Google Play Store? Surprisingly, the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) has not submitted the app to the Google Play Store and instead provides a direct link to the apk (Android compatible) file. By providing a direct apk file on its website, NRSC is essentially limiting the discoverability of the app. That said, it also raises security concerns. People are reluctant to download Android apps outside of the Google Play Store as they fear that it might contain malware. To solve this Google…

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