House Mapping in Nepal – Existing Technologies
Problem for Common Citizens
Going to different locations is everyday activity for everyone. When the destination is not a familiar one, we try to use technologies for our travelings. One of the most used technology to find destination location is Google Maps. Ideally Google Maps provides number of mapping needs, however the traveling is not easier if the destination location is someone’s house.
Problem for Businesses
In Nepal e-businesses are expanding, and people expect to receive orders to their front door. At present people need to mention famous landmarks like temples, trees, hospitals nearby them while letting delivery people to know their address. And after endless calls, and endless waiting the end user receives their orders.
This entire process is inconvenient and time-consuming and results in loss of time and money to EVERYONE involved.
We can’t hide the fact that at any given point of time anyone can be in a severe problem. Fire, theft, social disputes, fights, violence, riots, urgent health issues are a few to be mentioned. Government authorities, ambulances, firefighting apparatus, polices do not have absolute means to trace the victim in time which often leads to frightening consequences to the victims.
Existing Technologies for House Mapping and Why Are They Insufficient?
We have numbers of technologies that can assist us in finding locations digitally. All of these technologies, however do not provide a precise means to locate a house digitally or at least not as easily without some hard work behind the scenes, technical integrations, subscriptions, implementations, verifications or combination of multiple technologies.
1. Geo-location API
Geo-location API is a client-side device interface that allows users to share their location with web applications.
Provides a Geo Coordinate ‘lat/lang’ values for the device’s position. The lat/lang values are hard to read or memorize thus can’t be used as House Number.
2. Google Maps
Google Maps is a consumer application and web mapping platform designed by Google. It offers a wide range of information from satellite imaging, real-time traffic conditions, panoramic views of streets, and more.
Provides easy navigation to ‘registered businesses/entities’ but does not provide house numbers for recurring uses.
3. Google Plus Code
Google Plus Codes are based on latitude and longitude that generate street addresses for people and places that lack one. The codes are in numbers instead of names.
It’s very close indeed to map a house, however Plus Codes are generated dividing the Earth into very small grid-lines, approx 1sqm. Thus the use case could be overwhelming for users as it generates 10 different Plus Codes for a house built in 10sqm.
4. Open Street Map (OSM)
OSM creates a free editable geographic database of the world. You can download the app for free.
It’s another technology which is very close to map a house, however it’s not precise and the house number generated are not verified.
5. Metric Street
Metric street provides identification numbers to houses based on the distance from a street.
A change in physical property of a street will do enough damage to House Number Mapping algorithms.
The Solution - House Mapping in Nepal
Earlier we’ve mentioned that individually the existing technologies are insufficient to solve the digital mapping of houses in Nepal. However, with the combination of some of these technologies and manual verification of the results from them could potentially solve the issues of Digital Mapping of houses in Nepal.
In the next article we’ll discuss about the potential solution and will look into a prototype developed by Code Pros in the said matter.