Atlas Pro – Version 2.0 December 1, 2012Posted by simarprit in Uncategorized.
Tags: Atlas, Maps, Pro, World Atlas, World Atlas Pro
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Creating products excites me. It brings out the best in me. The challenge of starting something from scratch and within a defined time-frame getting it to roll-out stage is like living on top of the flame, you drop and you are gone for good.
Couple of years back we got going with developing Atlases for Android and iOS environments. Developing products is expensive, especially for a tiny/ small company which has had more than its fair share of setbacks to coverup for. It has been a mixed bag so far. Android is clearly all investment and no return business for most App developers including us, iOS is definitely a bit more charitable than Android, we breakeven on our incremental costs. In Atlas space we have several products but three are main, World Atlas (Free) World Atlas HD (at $1.99) and World Atlas Pro (at $ 9.99). Free of course flies fastest, but it is Pro where our dreams and commitment reside. Pro has undergone over 20 releases within the broader Version 1, it was time for us to have a re-look at our product.and positioning. We have taken a very tough and expensive call, we will build World Atlas Pro 2.0 series from scratch: New structure; new content to fit in where none exists; new UI; new code. We are shooting for March 1, 2013 as the launch date for this product.
All of you who love maps and atlases are welcome to tell us what all you would love to see in this new product. It goes without saying, all of you who pitch in would find their names and profiles mentioned prominently in World Atlas Pro and all product collateral developed.
Maps of India is Getting Younger April 22, 2010Posted by simarprit in Uncategorized.
Tags: Homepage, homepage designing, India, Maps, Mapsofindia, Mapsofindia.com
I am flying MapsofIndia.com has got a new homepage. New homepage in itself is a reason enough to fly but this time it is not just a new homepage it is an all new approach to website homepages. Some random thoughts/ steps as we moved towards the new homepage are shared in next few points.
- Do we need a new identity? The answer was yes. We moved and created a new identity for Mapsofindia.com. It took lot of resources as initially we were not sure what we wanted. As things progressed we knew we wanted a younger identity which covered much bigger space than our existing identity did and addressed a larger, much younger audience.
- Do we plan simultaneous launch of new identity and new homepage? The answer was an emphatic NO. We decided to close and push the new identity first. It was a tough challenge and as we got going it brought its own issues and challenges. It took us time in addressing them. Patience and persistence worked together to achieve over 90% penetration of new identity within 30 days of its launch.
- What is wrong with the existing homepage/ why do we need a new homepage? We accepted that the existing homepage was an evolving one with bells and whistles being added year after year, an update after an update. We understood that our audience was getting younger and the expectations were rising. We acknowledged the fact that Mapsofindia.com was now way beyond maps, we wanted to be a complete information site on India and our user wanted just about everything we could offer. We honored the fact that we were now a repository and there was a need for a more advanced but simple navigation engine.
More to come…
Most Popular Mapping Sites in the World November 19, 2009Posted by simarprit in Uncategorized.
Tags: Mapping Sites, Maps, World, World Map, World Maps
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Here is the compilation of 10 most popular mapping sites in the world. I must state that I have considered only those sites which are in English and which are not a geography specific and cover whole world. Mapsofworld.com is of course owned by Compare Infobase Limited and I am proud of the fact that it has made to this list. Global traffic assessment has been don through various third party sites and press releases and blog coverage.
MapsofIndia Surges Ahead March 14, 2009Posted by simarprit in Uncategorized.
Tags: India, India Map, Maps, Maps of India, Mapsofindia, websites
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Growth happens during tough times too, we all know this – for those who require a substantive case to place the exception – look at http://mapsofindia.com
No downturn for this site, one of the underdogs on the Indian internet industry – the site has worked hard to reach where it has. Mapsofindia.com is now a top 200 site in India, and the way it is growing should be top 100 in next six to nine months. It is interesting to see what makes Mapsofindia.com happen – Focus. Millions of dollars have not gone in there, no massive advertsing has been done no press releases have happened and no major TV coverage – still this site grows and grows. It is not into the most happening vertical, it is not redefining the way we live our lives even not on internet, it is not a site wich is quoted for being on the cutting edge of technology – but it is happening, again it is focus.
There is a strong community which loves what Mapsofindia stands for quality maps and quality information, this community is becoming stronger and larger by every passing day. Being a niche site Mapsofindia.com is, the question I am asked often – does it have a scope of reaching to the very top – can it be one of the top 5 Indian sites? I am not sure, but the site can surely make it to top 10.
Mapsofindia.com is today a repository of maps, travel and business information.
More to come…
Mapsofindia.com The Story Continues January 3, 2009Posted by simarprit in Uncategorized.
Tags: Compare Infobase, India, Mapping Website, Maps, Mapsofindia
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Mapsofindia.com along-with Indiamart.com are two sites which have stood on their own for now over ten years. Maps of India has been owned by Compare Infobase and my friend Dinesh Aggarwal has been running India Mart ever-since. Dinesh about an year back get into an investment alliance with a Times of India group company and has been working to take India Mart to higher heights. On the other side his decision left MapsofIndia.com as the only non VC funded business in the Indian Internet space.
Do Internet businesses which are not VC or PE funded have any long-term chance of growth and market leadership? It is a tough question. There may not be any easy answers to it. It depends on which vertical you are in and how passionate you are about the business. Having said this, would Mapsofindia.com continue leading the Indian mapping space on the Internet? As of now it looks like yes. The site has been growing and maintaining its position. It was a top 250 website in the Indian Internet space when there were only 2,000 sites focused on India. It maintains its position today competing against over 200,000 websites focused on India. For the long-run say next ten years, Mapsofindia.com has a lot to do, it has to grow by relationships as much as it has to grow by technology enhancements and product offerings. MOI needs to have a reason for every age group, every business, every ethnic group from every geography to hit the site at-least hundred times every day. Which in numbers means the site must get at-least 100 Sindhis in the age group 11 – 17 to visit MOI everyday, and it must get 100 visitors from Jabalpur too. Everyone must get a need fulfilled by being on Mapsofindia. It must mean a lot more than a map website to them.
To achieve this Mapsofindia must set its goal higher. It must target top 100 position in next two years. It must target a Google Page Rank of 8, it must target information seekers (for India) from all countries to find and use Mapsofindia.
There is a bright future for Mapsofindia, and I am confident that the team Mapsofindia led by Mani and Usha would ensure that it grows and maintains its status in the Internet space.
The Face of India – Mapsofindia.com July 2, 2008Posted by simarprit in Business, India, Internet, Maps.
Tags: Developing a Site, India, Indian Site, Internet, Map Site, Maps, Maps of India, Mapsofindia.com, Story, Website
Thank you Rajiv. You made my day. It felt very good to be associated with a site which is seen as “the Face of India”. I thank your school going daughter Nona for bringing it to your notice, and I thank you for bringing it up with me.
I would like to take this opportunity to write “The Story of Maps of India”, why we made it and why it is loved..
It all started in April of 1996 when I was searching for a Map of India on Yahoo! of course Google was not a known word then. There were quite a few Indian Maps available on the internet but not one I would have liked to use. Each one of them had a truncated Kashmir depending on cartographers free will. Some maps had no North East of India, and most had no Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep Islands.
That’s not what we were taught India looks like. It was full Kashmir a defined North East and the islands, all had to be there. It remained a thought. When I started Compare Infobase and we started working on our first website IndiaProfile.com the thought got translated to a web presence. We created a section in IndiaProfile.com called Maps of India. India had the correct face on the Internet. I was happy. But the page won’t show on Yahoo!
Why Sun rises from the east?
Why the date line is where it is?
Why England is in the center of the world?
Why Dollar is the currency of many countries?
Why English despite so few “English Men & English Women” is the most widely spoken language? Why? Why?
Many questions, one answer?
Dominance. Britishers dominated the world during those centuries and they made everyone see, believe, follow and accept what was right for them or as per them.
So, as Sun “rose” from East of the England, it bacame Sun rises from the East. The biggest Universal lie in the world. It remains a tough challenge till date to explain that the Sun never rises and the Sun never sets, it only appears and disappears from those directions.
Dominance. Dominance. Dominance. Quality dominance. Universal domainance. Consistent dominance. Omnipresent dominance. Taking a leaf out of the World History, Indiaprofile created a folder http://www.Indiapofile.com/Maps and titled it Maps of India. The folder which started with 5 maps became a website in less than three months as http://www.mapsofindia.com and had 50 maps to begin with. With the correct map on the net every one started logging on to Maps of India. The maps were: Quality Maps; in multiple subjects; they were always present in terms of zero downtime, you could get them when you wanted them. Number 50 became 250 and 250 became 500 and 500 became 1000 all in less than one year.
The Face of India was born. Mapsofindia.com was established as the site which displayed the face of India, the correct face of India. The quest continued. Mapsofindia.com became the place to get The Map of India, any time every time.
Usha Vidyasagar who currently heads the Maps of India project within Compare Infobase and Ajay Saxena our ex-colleague played a significant role. Usha with her Masters in Business Economics background started marrying data to maps. Demographic, Economic, Industrial, Political the list just won’t stop. I remember in one of those meetings in our second floor 125 sq. ft. office, I showed Usha my Readers Digest -The Great World Atlas, I also shared with Usha an India Atlas bought by my father in 1948. The dream Mapsofindia.com should have Maps of such high quality with data of such high credibility. Ajay was Masters in Geography, he became the corner stone for quality and consistency of Maps. Ajay led the cartographic initiative, Usha the Atlas initiative and your’s truly kept on coming up with “we need”.
Mapsofindia.com started growing. It grew steadily initially and slowly started picking up speed. Number of users which were 7 the first day the site went live, went up to 1,000 a day by the time site completed one year. At 100,000 users a day for a thematic mapping site, I am pleased. The steady climb of Mapsofindia.com would ensure that the site starts hitting a million users a day in next five years. For a thematic mapping site on a specific geography it is a great aspirational figure. Mapsofindia.com remains the best mapping site on India despite numerous challenges to its dominance. Interestingly the next three most popular mapping sites on India are all stable mates of Mapsofindia.com; http://www.maps-india.com (Maps India) focuses on maps for travel and travel information; http://www.indiamapstore.com (India Map Store) is an estore for focuses on sale of printed maps and travel books; http://www.Mapsofworld.com (Maps of World) now a legend in its own right has a detailed India section which is growing steadily.
Much More to come…
Thematic Online Mapping – What a Churning! November 10, 2007Posted by simarprit in Uncategorized.
Tags: global, map sites, mapping, Maps, Online, ranking, Simarprit, Thematic, World
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Mapping space is traditionally divided in two verticals. Navigational & Thematic. Navigational is the one which is much in news, thematic is usually the one which is for serious use.
After a deep analysis (Alexa/ Compete/ Quantcast and what not) of the mapping space the following popularity rankings emerge:
While the first four are into Navigational Mapping, http://www.mapsofworld.com has emerged as the lead in thematic mapping. Thematic had http://www.lonelyplanet.com and http://lib.texas.eduas the key players before the rise of mapsofworld.com. Lonely Planet handled travel maps and library website of Texas university handled topographic maps. Both are today out of the reckoning for top honors in the thematic mapping space. Randmcnally.com the Grand Old Man of mapping industry has been on shaky wicket for over a decade now. Maps.com the pioneer in online sale of maps and globes is also loosing ground rapidly, from a site in global top 1000 on all bench marks in late 90′s maps.com is fast becoming an also ran.
Mapsofworld.com has been increasing its lead over others, in the US space. The site recently started showing up even more than http://www.multimap.comhowever multimap.com still leads mapsofworld.com globally and in Europe. http://www.infoplease.com also has a detailed mapping section but has lost out on top listings in the mapping space.
Is there a window in thematic maps, why do we need thematic maps online atall? Thematic maps bring in information placed over maps, it is said that a picture is worth 1000 words, a thematic map is worth a complete thesis or a book. Thematics are created with lot of research. Each thematic map comprises of tons of information. To understand Top 10 economies of the world a thematic map goes through the whole drill of data analysis and interpretation. Reliability is a key in thematic maps. If you are not reliable, you can’t stay in the segment.
Thematic maps are used by Marketing Professionals/ Research Scholars/ School Students/ Quiz Masters and General Public.
The churning which the thematic map segment has seen is very good for the industry. http://www.mapsofworld.comto gain ground has covered some tough areas like African thematic maps and maps like angling and biking locations. The multi billion dollar question is that can a thematic mapping site eventually overtake navigational sites? My take is Yes. Mobile telephony and integration at the equipment level of maps with mobile devices would reduce the usage of navigational mapping sites significantly. Letting sites like mapsofworld.com, lonelyplanet.com, lib.texas.edu grow the market and establish new benchmarks.