A lot of us rely on some GPS device or the other to figure out where we are going. There are several layers that can be overlaid on a map that display additional information like gas stations, grocery stores, traffic conditions etc. Google Maps even has Street View where you have images of the street you are looking for. Now, a little start up from Bangalore called VidTeq has taken the concept a step further. It’s called a Video Map.
Video Map is a feature rich navigable map built on a traditional digital map. It contains a video clip of the complete route between source and destination with rich features (business logos, background music, turn-by-turn audio overlay, road names etc.) embedded into it. Traditional driving directions consist of a digital map and turn by turn text or voice directions. These directions are easy to follow provided all the streets are marked with clearly visible (and labeled) street names, which is usually not the case in countries like India. Video Map addresses this issue.
The process of creating the Video Map is similar to what Google did for their Street View – a video capture team captures videos of all the roads in Bangalore city (for now). A camera mounted vehicle is used for this purpose and the raw video goes through a stabilization process before it gets delivered to the Media team for editing. Once edited, these videos get geo-tagged and stored.
Once you get your video directions, besides viewing them, you can also share or email the link, print the directions, get them via SMS or even download the video directions. This very cool and novel idea is currently available only for Bangalore city. It is still in its beta stage and we hope to see them expand their archives with additional cities in the future.
Update: We’ve been in touch with VidTeq and they just informed us that Video Maps are available for Chennai and Hyderabad as well.