I have been waiting for this moment for long. Google maps mobile have finally added detailed maps for Pakistan. Now i can search for a nihari shop or a fower shop or any other business and Google maps will show me the marker. The navigation part is still missing. Google is still not offering turn by turn directions nor it gives the details like traffic, street view or driving distances, but it is a big welcome change. Moreover, I still cant see the detailed maps on PC version. I’m sure PC maps are following its mobile counterpart but there is an obvious reason why mobile maps have come first.
Pakistan is a big market for mobile Google maps. Pakistan has more than 90 million mobile users, vast data network over GSM/GPRS/EDGE and absolutely no other street navigation system at all. Does it get any better than that?
Actually it is a community effort using Google map maker on PC. Map maker allows users to add roads, streets, businesses, crossings and everything else for areas for which there are no maps defined yet. Then other users approve or disapprove there additions and changes. Eventually a map comes into being that is eventually supposed to be posted to Google maps and Google maps mobile. So the Google maps mobile we see today for Pakistan, has all the maps that were made on map maker and have been moved to main Google maps for mobile and I’m sure Google maps for web will be updated soon.
This move by Google will not only increase the usage of their product in Pakistan but a big number of software and hardware solutions will now spring up for the local market soon. A lot of people already using GPS enabled phone will put their GPS to use now with this free service. I think it will boost the sales of GPS enabled handsets as well.
Do try it out at http://maps.google.com from your mobile.
*** UPDATE ****
Google maps for Pakistan are still not available on web as well on wap (google locals). Lets see when they show up there.
*** UPDATE 2 ***
Screenshots for your interest 🙂