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Delhi Police Coming Out With Traffic App, Challenges Google Maps

It seems Delhi Police has big plans to use technology to provide its traffic related services. The city police commissioner B S Bassi on Friday said his department was working on a traffic app specific to Delhi that will tell residents the state of traffic, including congestion on roads, in real time.

“DP coming with an app to tell people the average prevailing speed at key 50 locations in Delhi to estimate travel time for their journey,” tweeted the commissioner.

However, other than this information, Bassi did not reveal anything else about the app. Though he did challenge Google Maps in a subsequent tweet.

When Twitter users pointed out that such an app already existed and that app was called Google Maps, Bassi emphasised that cops knew the city better and hence would be able provide updates that would be more accurate and timely than what Google Maps does.

One Twitter users (@yedayogi) said, “There is already an app called Google Maps!” Another, who goes by name @kapsology, added, “What are Google Maps for? Faaltu mein paisa waste!”

However, it seems that Delhi Police has thought about the app thoroughly. “Reply to some doubts. Google map info is based on cell/GPS users based algo. DP’s is ground zero observed info. Later live video also,” he tweeted.

For now, Delhi Police hasn’t announced any specific date when this app would be available.

While the move sure seems laudable, especially, as Delhi Police says, if the app is better than the Google Maps, it is not easy building a mapping app that provides real time information.

Google launched the Maps with navigation, complete with live traffic information, in India after several years of planning and work. Even now the navigation service in Google Maps run into problems because routes in Indian cities often change due to construction or closure of roads. But to catch such fast changing “ground realities” Google often relies on the data it collects from the people using smartphones and on volunteers who can edit its maps with MapMaker tool.

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