India Unwilling To Use 'Unapproved' Google Maps Service

The Indian government is unwilling to use the "unapproved" Google Maps service for official business, according to Swarna Subba Rao, Surveyor General of India. In a recent statement provided to local media outlets, Rao revealed how the country's agency Survey of India (SOI) believes that Google's omnipresent mapping service isn't authenticated by the government due to the fact that the administration has no real pull in regards to its contents, features, and general development. As such, the service cannot be used for official business as it's still deemed unreliable by the state.

Rao's statement was made in the context of applications including public development, with SOT's top official explaining how a service that's somewhat accurate isn't good enough for government use as the administration requires completely reliable, accurate tools that can help with development planning and engineering. For that purpose, government officials are still resorting to topographic maps that are much less intuitive but also significantly more accurate, Rao revealed. The comment implied that the Indian government could help with the development of Google Maps and consequently ensure that the tool is more reliable for local applications, though that isn't likely to happen at any point in the future. Due to that state of affairs, SOI recently made a concentrated effort to provide the general public with its mapping tools and charts free of charge, though the initiative itself is still somewhat away from being realized, with Rao admitting that the system is currently experiencing a number of technical issues that he hopes will be fixed shortly.

Being one of the company's flagship products, Google invested a vast amount of resources into developing and updating Google Maps in recent years, with the Mountain View, California-based tech giant constantly introducing new features and improvements to the service. Adapting the solution to be fit for government use would certainly help the firm's efforts to position its mapping tool as an indispensable part of many people's lives, though it remains to be seen whether the company has ambitions to do so or will it pursue another product strategy going forward. An update on Google Maps and related developments is expected to follow later this year.

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Dominik Bosnjak

Head Editor
Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016 and is the Head Editor of the site today. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]