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Surf to be served

A variety of websites have emerged on the Indian cyberspace offering interactive local maps, directory search and suchlikes.

Print Edition: June 28, 2007

You surf the Web to be informed, entertained, communicate. How you wish you could also use it for organising daily schedules and doing local — colony-specific — searches. Your wish is beginning to be granted. A variety of websites have emerged on the Indian cyberspace offering interactive local maps, directory search and suchlikes. We checked the following six.

INDIA’S LOCAL SEARCH ENGINE:

www.guruji.com

Google search is great, but does it deliver your neighbourhood news and information?

guruji.com, an India-focused search engine, searches local content, for instance the address of the only gurudwara in Bangalore or places to eat out in the Aundh area of Pune. It is funded by Sequoia Capital, which also funded Google.

Right now the site covers only 15 cities and has an all-India search option as well. It supports five languages (Hindi, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Tamil) with an onscreen keyboard for each language. The quality of search results is erratic but expect this site to get bigger and better in the months to come.

PERSONAL GOOGLE:

www.google.com/ig

How do you begin your day online? You read the headlines, check out your Gmail (and other email) or read weather forecast and set some reminders for the day.

Wouldn’t you prefer getting all this, and much more, on your personalised home page? Make iGoogle your homepage. In recent months enough Indian content (news, city weather forecast) has been added to justify this as a local and personalised webpage.

You design your home page content with your own choice of news feeds, weather, movements from BSE indices, your Orkut scraps and even classic games to kill time.

DIRECTORY SERVICE:

www.justdial.com

An online yellow pages website that also lets you review the business you located through Justdial. It has an offline presence through a nationwide hotline number 39999999.

Currently covers about 40 cities via phone and 28 online. More cities are to be added soon. A catch: you part with your mobile number to get the information you want.

INTERACTIVE MAP SEARCH:

www.mapmyindia.com

Call it Google earth and search of India—in the making.You can not only search for a place on mapmyindia but also get exact road directions (not always the best because of traffic diversions) and maps.

The directions need to be clearer and more precise. The service is also available on mobile phones through Airtel Live or MTNL GPRS-enabled phones.

MOBILE SEARCH:

www.onyomo.com

Onyomo is another online directory services website. The difference is that it can be accessed even on a WAP (a basic browser for mobile phones) which makes it accessible even if you do not have a computer.

Covers six cities — Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai and Pune. It has maps for locating outlets online in Delhi and Bangalore. You can also seek information via SMS.

RESTAURANT REVIEW & GUIDE:

www.burrp.com

There are restaurant listing websites and there are restaurant review sites. This one combines the two. burrp.com has a fairly comprehensive and updated coverage of eateries and watering holes in Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata and promises to soon add Delhi, Chennai, Goa, Hyderabad and
Pune.

It also has the first user generated online lifestyle-focused magazine called Blaah!.

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