Finding Maps

For our company trip, we decided to DIY: look in the maps and figure how to get there. We had a map of Maharashtra, and we also decided to give a shot. We just looked at the regular section, not the “business services.”

Tracking down a vacation spot on the map

Malshej Ghat is a hill station close to Mumbai, one of the lesser-known ones. (More and more people are finding out, and it’s getting overpopulated by junk tourists, though.) At first, we didn’t notice it on the map at all.

2.Naturally, the problem is, it’s not a town-it’s a ghat; an area. But there it was-in tiny print-the entire green stretch. We still had no clue where the nearest town was, though.

3.The map showed us the roadway as well as the railways-so we could choose. Not much of a value-add-the railways-because we’d decided to go by road anyway.

4.Figuring out the exact distance is impossible-we just used a ruler for the distance as the crow flies, then compensated for the turns.

5.Looking at the map is all well and good, but where exactly do we turn? It was all we could do to note down the towns along the way, and we’ll have to ask for directions at each.   

Fun: 4.5/10 (What did you expect?)

Hooray for MapMyIndia!

1.We were highly sceptical about the site. India actually having been mapped? We expected it to be one of those crappy sites with tons of pop-ups and nowhere to look. But… a pleasant surprise!

2.”Malshej Ghat” actually showed up, even though it’s not a town. A simple “directions” search from Panvel to there brought up a detailed directions list-along with the nearest town to the place, called Walhivale. We’d never have known this from the paper map.
3.The directions were a little confusing though: “At Kalyan-Dombivli, turn right-go 1.34 km.” The next one, perplexingly: “At Kalyan-Dombivli, continue…”. “Turn right” and “continue” to do so?

4.We’d gotten the general drift, though-and we had the exact distance, too. Zoom into the map as much as you want to, and find tiny towns and villages… a great help when you’re driving.

5.We’ll have to ask for directions anyway, but we knew each place along the way, so no getting lost beyond a few kilometres! 

Fun: 7/10 (A novel experience!)

And The Winner Is… is terrific. It shows up specific addresses too, in many parts of the country. The detail in the maps is incredible.
However, we won’t say the tech way is the “winner,” because you just can’t be sure. The difference between this and using a paper map is essentially that you get more town names along the way, as well as an idea about distance.
India simply cannot be mapped the way developed countries are, and will unfortunately never be what Yahoo! Maps is to the US.
A search for “Belapur”-right next-door to our office- took us to the interiors of Maharashtra. Our roads aren’t known for being neatly organised into streets and avenues… your mileage, therefore, will vary. Can’t blame the site in the least. And then there’s all the thing about no-one knowing what a road is called… is Brigade Road in Bengaluru still Brigade Road, by the way?

Ram Mohan Rao