Apple Delhi India Mapping ThinkPad

Apple Online Store – India

The Apple Store India was relaunched some time back but fairly recently, possibly even today, Apple has dropped the prices on almost all products in India. The top of the line iMac offered by Apple in India (not the new 3.06 GHz one but the older 2.8GHz 24″) has been reduced from Rs. 96,600 to Rs. 83,500 and the MacBook Air (1.6GHz with PATA drive) has gone from Rs. 96,600 to Rs. 87,900. Those are some pretty substantial drops. Now if only Apple could release their most current products in India like the rest of the world.

Crowd Sourcing India Internet Mapping Mobile Web 2.0

Social Mobile Mapping (Mapiki)

With Google’s release of Google Maps for Australia, I am hoping Google Maps India isn’t going to be that far away. Being a complete outsider to Indian roads and traffic, it would be a very welcome addition to our list of expat related sites and tools that we’ll be relying on after we move to India.

I know the challenges of putting together Google Maps in a place like India. I’ve been to the tiny little alleys that are at least 400 or 500 years old. I’ve also been to what was farmland 6 months ago and today is a luxury residential development outside Bangalore. In a country where the streets are thousands of years old and where farmland and undeveloped land is changing so rapidly, it will be an immense task to keep the data updated. However, could this be the perfect place for an experiment in Social Mobile Mapping or Mapiki? This is the term that I’m going to use for what I think could be a tremendous addition to the social web.

Imagine an application that will redraw maps based on GPS transmitters and SMS text messages, submitted by none other than the users of the mapping application. In a place like India, a rikshaw driver can pull out his mobile and type in a message and sms it to a service that will instantly display on the map the changes reflected by the rikshaw driver. Of course, this can be gamed but so can Wikis. The question is, can the wisdom of crowds provide cleaner more accurate mapping information just like it has helped to create Wikipedia?

For now, however, at least I can get driving directions in New Delhi.