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Ron in India, Day 4: Microsoft TechVista 2006

Ron AndersonToday I attended Microsoft's TechVista 2006 symposium in Bangalore. This is the second annual conference; the first coincided with the opening of Microsoft's Indian research office last year. Microsoft Research India started the day by unveiling a prototype of a digital map of India, a project they are working on in conjunction with the Survey of India part of India's Department of Science and Technology. Think of the digital map as a combination of Google street maps overlaid with satellite imagery with a Wikipedia aspect that enables users to annotate specific elements of the map, by adding details about their favorite restaurant for example.

Sir Tony Hoare accepts a hearty round of applause

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The goal is to emphasize localization by enabling people speaking any of India's 114 languages to have equal access to the site. The prototype unveiled today includes 4 languages and includes general information about India and more detailed information about Bangalore. You can learn more about this project here. The prototype should be available online in a couple of days.

Overall the symposium had a decidedly academic feel. Many of the presentation were made by researchers from major research universities like Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh.

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