Microsoft India Development Centre (MSIDC) and Microsoft Research India (MSR India) have collaborated to work on Robust Location Search – which helps solve problems that arise when users search for addresses.
Started as a research project at MSR India and now being developed by MSIDC as a feature of Microsoft’s Live Search Maps service, Robust Location Search takes a radically new approach to location search by using keywords to find places, rather than commonly used address rules, to answer queries.
This enables relevant results regardless of the address type and structure and also enables cross-lingual address searches.
For instance, an address specified as being ‘near NIMS’ with a building name in Hindi can be located using Robust Location Search.
This automatically identifies the building near the Nizam Institute of Medical Sciences in Hyderabad.
“The development of this product has already reached the stage of maturity and integration with the Live Search Maps service is going on right now,” said Srini Koppolu, corporate vice-president and managing director of MSIDC, while declining to give any time line for the product launch.
Speaking to mediapersons at TechXchange 2008, the second edition of the forum established to enable deeper integration between Microsoft’s researchers and product teams in India, Koppolu said about 20 new products are at various stages of development at the MSIDC. Started in 1998, the MSIDC has contributed 220 patent filings in the past four years.
Meanwhile, MSR India’s advanced and prototyping group has taken up the India Digital Heritage project, an initiative between MSR India, academia and the department of science and technology, with the aim of using novel techniques to capture and present various aspects of India’s diverse heritage.
Under the project, Microsoft, using its Photosynth technology that creates 3D worlds from thousands of photographs, has conducted a study on the Sri Andal Temple in Srivilliputtur in Tamil Nadu involving 7,000 photographs and 20 hours of video footage.
“The idea is to showcase the architectural and cultural aspects of heritage sites and monuments in India through rich and interactive narratives by orchestrating several visualisation technologies coupled with ambient audio in the form of a guided tour,” said P Anandan, managing director of MSR India.
“The pilot prototype is the seed to take up larger projects in the long term by bringing in more tools and technologies through international collaborations,” he added.