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Moscow City to ditch Yandex and Google to map itself

Published time: January 17, 2012 11:00
Edited time: January 17, 2012 15:00
Image from maps.yandex.ru

Image from maps.yandex.ru

The Moscow Government thinks it can do better than the big internet giants Yandex and Google and is introducing its own electronic map service.

The authorities’ say what’s on offer at the moment doesn’t really fit the needs of Moscovites who want to report problems with roads and such. So, Moscow has spent 20 billion roubles in what some may say is ‘reinventing the wheel’, but which they claim will be more precise.

It is expected the new system will allow people to report about a broken traffic light ora hole in the road, as they would show much of the city’s infrastructure.

“The city maps will be used instead of Yandex and Google services because they do not provide full information about the Moscow infrastructure and roads.” Elena Novikova, of the State Department of Informational Technologies told Izvestia daily. She explains Yandex, for example, doesn’t allow a click at a crossroad or a traffic light as streets are linked to house numbers, but the new system would be more specific.

The new city map should be up and running by next month on the atlas.mos.ru website. Moreover, state maps will be integrated into mobile devices to provide access to the Moscow Government online. Sergei Scherbina, Deputy Director at ESRI CIS- Moscow map service developer says the Moscow informational site will be updated frequently with more information and services for users.

“The site with integrated maps will provide the access to the current general plan of the city and all updates related to the Moscow city construction sites,” says Scherbina. The map would show such details as bus stops and back yards. The map is owned by the state government and its development, improvement and management will not depend on commercial organizations. However, Ivan Begtin project manager of OpenGovData.ru says the map service will not be useful for general internet users.

“The main advantage of Yandex and Google maps is that they are easily integrated into any internet site. It is uncertain whether state maps will have this option,”

Begtin adds that the government could choose to provide the country’s major search engines such as Yandex, Google and Mail.ru with their maps.

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