[OSM-talk] OSM in India

moltonel 3x Combo moltonel at gmail.com
Tue Jun 16 09:36:16 UTC 2015

On 16/06/2015, Arun Ganesh <arun.planemad at gmail.com> wrote:
> Businesses throughout the country want to list themselves on GM to get more
> customers. I have been to remote parts of the country where hoteliers or
> shop owners ask me how they can be listed. This POI database is massive and
> along with it comes address information which is data gold in India for
> geocoding. There is low business incentive for anyone to list themselves on
> OSM, moreover the computer skills to do that is lacking by most people.

That argument isn't specific to India, and hasn't stoped OSM growth
elsewhere. Note that it takes a long long time between "OSM data is
much better than GM" and "OSM is well known and used by the general

> If there were more users of openstreetmap, this can change quickly.

Yes, it's logarythmic, beginings are slow.

> Its a given that most users of new technology in the country are familiar
> with English, or atleast the Latin alphabet. One may not be able to speak
> the language but can easily read street signs and it is more familiar than
> localized signage.

Same in Ireland, even the most hard-core Gaeltach advocates speak good
English. But that doesn't mean that nobody wants a map in Gaelic. For
most it's a cultural identity thing. They've been colonised by the
English in the past and want to assert their roots. In India this
ought to be even stronger, for all the people to whom English is a
foreign language.

> We have had trials with localized maps
> http://yogiks.github.io/osm-kn/map/ but apart from being good PR they have
> limited practical use in daily life.

That looks good :) Add a proper domain name and a bit more dressing up
work, and it could become more than just a PR stunt.

> We would need to support 22 languages and in offline mediums to make the
> maps truly accessible to most of the people.

Once you've got things working in one language, adding the other 21 is
little extra work and some extra hardware ressources (surely not 20x
more ressources).

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