Monday, August 20, 2012

Wikimapia FTW

My 22 mile run from Bangalore to Doddaballapur yesterday had quite a bit of planning going for it.

Initially, I was planning to follow the regular route that we usually take while traveling by bus or motorbike.

Below is the Google Map of the driving directions between Mathikere and Doddaballapur:

View Larger Map

However, one trip on my motorbike along the road a few weeks back convinced me to rule out this route. The heavy traffic along this highway plus the shabby state of the footpath next to the roads (where it existed), and the additional adventure of literally blazing a trail in back country roads made it an easy decision. 

So dug into Google maps a bit more, and came up with the following alternate route:


View Larger Map

However, the problem now was that Google maps did not have names for many of the places/villages along the way, and with the meagre amount of roadsigns in India, it would have been virtually impossible for me to find my way correctly along this route I had decided. Without the name of the next village I had to go to, I ran the risk of being diverted off the route very quickly. 

On one of our road-trips (on motorbike) from Doddaballapur to Bangalore a few days ago, my wife and I tried to follow this route, and were off the intended route within 2 miles of leaving Doddaballapur. Nevertheless, that trip turned out to be very useful as we were able to get the names of a couple of villages on the route closer to my home in Bangalore. 

After that I spent quite a bit of time on the web to find detailed maps of Bangalore Rural District & Doddaballapur Taluk; didn't get anything for a couple of days. Finally, while searching for the map for Shivakote (one of the villages whose name I had identified on our road trip a few days back), I stumbled into wikimapia.org.

Wikimapia turned to be awesomely useful! With a tag-line of "Let's describe the whole world", it is an open-content collaborative mapping project aimed to mark all geographical objects in the world and provide a useful description for them - according to Wikipedia. Thanks to Wikimapia, I learned of the names of all the villages along my chosen route to run, and found lot more useful info about landmarks along the way.
For those interested, the places/villages along the route were Dodda ByalakereShivakote, Linganahalli, Koluvarayanahalli, Seethakempanahalli, Kakolu, Byrapura, Haniyooru, & Gowdahalli. Thanks to the many individuals who marked these places on wikimapia!

Very impressed with the ability wikimapia provides everybody to mark places on the map; I mapped a couple of places in and around our house.

2 comments:

Levi Bracegirdle said...

On one of our road-trips (on motorbike) from Doddaballapur to Bangalore a few times ago, my spouse and I tried to adhere to this path, and were off the designed path within 2 kilometers of making Doddaballapur. Nevertheless, that journey became very useful as we were able to get the titles of a number of towns on the path nearer to my house in Bangalore.

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