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Local touch to Yahoo maps

Special Correspondent

Walking directions, maps in 10 Indian languages

— Graphic: Anand Parthasarathy with Yahoo Maps

Desi cartography: Yahoo’s Indian maps switch seamlessly to the local language of the region searched.

Bangalore: Yahoo’s map services have gone ‘desi.’ Last week, the Internet portal leader added interfaces in 10 languages to its Indian map and place finder utilities.

The service, which can be found at http://in.maps.yahoo.com, allows users to switch from the default English to Hindi, Tamil, Gujarati, Marathi, Bengali, Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam, Punjabi and Oriya.

Users can zoom into the cities or towns of their choice. They can seek directions to go from one place to another and the detailed walking directions appear in a box alongside the map, where the route is highlighted, complete with services en route such as restaurants, ATMs or petrol pumps.

The service can be accessed by anyone who has an Internet connection and also works on Net-capable mobile phones. Even if you search on a PC or laptop, you can e-mail or SMS the directions to a friend’s mobile number.

The Hindu tested the software simulating the experience in various parts of the country, in different languages — which one can select at the click of a button. If you opt for ‘vernacular,’ it switches seamlessly to the local language of the region that is being displayed. A double click zooms in for a closer view. The product developed by Yahoo’s Indian engineers in Bangalore is said to cover 179 cities, 4,676 towns and over 2 lakh villages.

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