The alternative to the Google Earth way of portraying territories, where one “namespace” covers the entire globe and you either love the lay of the land or you don’t, is to make your own.
Hence the aptly named MapmyIndia, a year-old site pointed at by blog POV. It appears to be marketing itself as an India-centric alternative to the global mapping services, and it does indeed provide street-level maps of Indian cities, which others don’t.
Unfortunately, it might also just get you killed.
In the map above, there is no sign of the Line of Control, the de facto border between India and Pakistan in Kashmir — as far as MapmyIndia is concerned, Gilgit and the Hunza valley are firmly under Indian control, just a hop and a skip away from Srinagar. Unbeknownst to the MapmyIndia user, that stroll to Gilgit would take you across the world’s highest war zone, where both sides shoot first and apportion blame later.
So MapmyIndia is a nice patriotic tool, though at the cost of forgoing the first duty of maps, which is to inform. It comes courtesy of CE Info Systems, who are “at the forefront of GIS development in India”, and who thus should know better. All we need now is the Pakistani equivalent, so that we can have a whole new breed of mashups — mapfights!