I received this email through one of the technology mailing list. A quick check on naqsha.net showed that the maps are there and there are some POIs (points of interest) that you can search. The quality of maps is decent and it covers a handful of major cities. Just don’t expect the overall experience to be comparable to google/yahoo but its a good start. Maps did not work in Firefox.
The Garmin navigation devices which are being sold with Pakistan maps preloaded are quite expensive, compared with their devices being sold in the US. Devices start at $400 and map only for $120. Anyway, at least its a start for GPS, maps and location based services.
In-car GPS navigation is not available in Pakistan. Data Solutions (Pvt) Ltd in partnership with Tracking World (Pvt) Ltd have launched Garmin GPS units loaded with Pakistan map data. Currently only Garmin GPS units are available for purchase. The units range from in-car dash mounted devices to devices for motorbikes. There is also a unit which can be integrated with the vehicle’s DVD/entertainment unit and displays the navigational information on it. Existing Garmin users also have the option to buy the map for their specific unit. You may view the maps and GPS devices at naqsha.net.
The map has street level detail of major Pakistani cities and all major national highways. Streets are labeled and searchable for Islamabad, Lahore and some parts of Karachi. In addition there are close to 40,000 POIs such as fuel/CNG stations, banks, atms, hospitals, restaurants (categorised), hotels, shops, etc. Most POIs have address and phone number information available as well. Units equipped with FM transmitters and Bluetooth allow hands free dialing from the unit and are able to integrate with the vehicles’s audio system as well.