Live search maps for India !

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India has a new Live Search Maps site! Features are:

Street Maps for 9 important Indian cities Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune, Ahmedabad, and Jaipur and National Road Network of India with roughly 20,000 cities/towns/major localities (as points on the map). Political Map of India with important geographical features that includes national roads connecting around 20,000 Indian cities are on the offer. Highlight is the detailed maps for 9 important Indian cities as mentioned earlier. Within these 9 cities, important places likes monuments, restaurants, hotels are also presented as icons in the maps. Maps of supported cities has been stitched with the national road visually and navigationally.

Location Search – Global (one need not type the city name), context-aware (i.e. ranking of results considers the map view), error-tolerant (corrects the typos, expands the important abbreviations) and flexible solution to find complete or partial address, roads, localities, landmarks and places of general interest.

Business Listing (Yellow Pages) Search – This allows us to find businesses listed with us. Click Business tab and specify what (e.g. “Petrol Pump” in first box) and where (e.g. “Indira Nagar” in second box) to get the business listings sorted according to distance from the location of search (i.e. Indira Nagar, Bangalore).

Routing/Driving Directions

  • Intra-city visual driving directions
  • Intercity integrated routing (detailed driving directions inside the cities having Street Maps and normal driving directions on the National map)
  • One-click driving directions

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Under this, one can route from a given source to a destination. Source and destination can be specified in multiple ways – by right clicking on the map, or by hovering over the search result icon displayed on the map or by hovering over the pushpins in the collections or by clicking directions link from menu and typing in the required addresses/locality/places/road. Source and destination can be any city/locality/place/landmark in India within 15KM of distance from any road. Clicking Reverse link at the bottom will swap the start and end point and will compute the route. Selecting Shortest Distance radio button will compute the routes for the shortest distance between the two points.

Share – User can share (by selecting “Send in e-mail” from “Share” Menu) his various search results, driving directions, collections etc. over email.

Print – User can take print out of the maps, driving directions, search results.

Collections – One can create collections of pushpins, custom drawings on the maps, routing etc. and save it against a Windows Live ID for viewing later or sharing it with others.

For full details and more images head over to Chris Pendleton’s VE blog: Announcing Live Search Maps India

Google all set to update Picasa

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With a face recognition feature set to launch at noon PDT Tuesday, Google’s Picasa Web Albums will help users label their photos with the names of subjects. That and other changes to the photo-sharing site are joined by a new beta version of the accompanying Picasa 3.0 photo-editing software.

The "name tag" feature presents users with collections of photos with what it judges to be the same person, then lets them click a button to affix a name. Once photographic subjects are named, users can browse an album of that individual on the fly.

The name tag feature groups like faces together to let users tag them with names a batch at a time.

The Picasa Web Albums name tag feature groups like faces together to let users tag them with names a batch at a time (click to enlarge).(Credit: Google)

Picasa 3 beta
Google also plans to release a beta version of the Picasa 3 image-editing. It works on Windows, though a Google Labs version has been transmogrified to work on Linux via the Wine software layer. Horowitz wouldn’t confirm whether a Mac OS X version is anything more than an idea: "Macs are important to us," he said. "We’re always looking for new ways making sure our users are happy, so it’s something we’re looking at."

The new Picasa software brings several changes:

  • A movie maker mode lets people combine photos with music to export movie versions of galleries to watch on a PC or upload to YouTube.
  • A new retouch brush lets people edit out skin blemishes and other trouble spots. And the tool can automatically fix red-eye problems caused by flash photography.

A collage mode in Picasa lets users create poster-size collections, sizing and placing each snapshot.

A collage mode in Picasa lets users create poster-size collections, sizing and placing each snapshot. (Click to enlarge.)(Credit: Google)

  • A new collage mode lets users compile many photos into one composite image. This time, users get precise control over image placement for example by moving, rotating, and resizing photos, and the software can produce a high-resolution composite for poster-size prints.
  • A photo viewer for quick slideshows, an option that during installation politely asks to own the file associations for JPEG, TIFF, raw images from higher-end cameras, and some other formats. The slideshow software can view PNG files, which is handy, but the editing software still can’t, which is a significant limitation for me.
  • Online synchronization. If photos have been uploaded from Picasa to the Web site, they can be edited later and the changes, including tags, are synchronized to the Web site. This is very handy since you might want to get images up quickly to share with friends then edit them later. Unfortunately, changes on the Web site aren’t mirrored back to the PC, so all those name tags will stay put in the cloud for now.

Google is all set to lift the curtains from its new browser Chrome.. click here for more.

(via webware)