Karachi Map?

Whatever happened to this project? Did it even get off the ground? A map of Karachi is still badly needed.

19 Comments so far

  1. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on May 6th, 2006 @ 11:57 pm

    Good new for you ,CDGK is working on this project but sorry to disappoint you that it would cover 15% of karachi which is not owned by contentment,KPT etc and this map is being developed for pointing out things like water supply lines,electricity etc.

    Generic digital map,yea its seriously needed even for routing purpose during traffic jam.

  2. zeeshan (unregistered) on May 7th, 2006 @ 12:23 pm

    you can also see a satelite map of
    karachi in maps.google.com

  3. Adnan Mansoor (unregistered) on May 9th, 2006 @ 3:14 pm

    Nice post for the much needed Karachi map by the concerned Khurrum. Keep it up. Its real Karachi like issue to be solved at hand.

    The effort under Allias by establishing kartograph.blogspot.com was a well directed effort. People like the ones who volunteered for this very project, were very much enthusiastic about the whole thing.

    @Zeeshan: Google map for Karachi is not of much use. For instance, you can check up the current placemarks for Karachi and compare it with COntinental America. By a simple type in of residential address, you can go to exact location (house I mean). And that the beauty of GIS.

    @Khurrum Farooq: You must keep it up coz Karachi needs something like this. Still, I am amazed at the lukewarm response to ur post.

    P.S. Did anybody contacted Allias & Ms. Sajida through their emails (as given by them on last thread reference).

  4. redsnapper (unregistered) on May 10th, 2006 @ 3:21 am


    I saw Alias’ blog. The effort is awesome but his last post is a bit disturbing/confusing. Seemed he’s not getting the kind of help he needed. Saw your comment there too.

    Is that why you started this thread ?

    Do you have any update on the current status ?

  5. Adnan Mansoor (unregistered) on May 10th, 2006 @ 9:09 am

    The effrot by alias must be duplicated in some basic map, so as to make it more accessible and promote the cause.

    The interst would be generated only if Karachi guys nad forums like this appreciate the hard work being done by the likes of Alias.

    The students doing final year projects may be interested in such activities on whole time basis during their project time.

    @Redsnapper: Can you email me the image of GIF or BMP of Alias’s work?

  6. alias (unregistered) on May 11th, 2006 @ 1:48 am

    Salams everyone!

    I understand everyone’s frustration over the matter, especially will all the reconstruction of roads/flyovers going on all over the city. CDGK’s never going to have a digital map available for us, while the one I have made has been delayed for a long while now, so let me explain.

    Referring to our last discussion here, nobody, and I mean, not even a single person came up with anything to contribute with. I emailed when I needed help, but never got any replies. Instead, those who DID email me, were those who saw a way of serving their own needs with the map and running away with as soon as they got their hands on it. I still meet such people every day. I’m sorry, that’s not something I can tolerate.

    Yet, I still planned to have it available on the web, just like Yahoo, MSN and the rest have done. Got the software ready for it, but then finances got in the way on several occasions. First, there was a slight georeferencing problem for which I needed a GPS unit. The most basic one I could find was a Garmin eTrex priced at US$100 retail, but available here in Karachi for US$350. Totally outrageous, yes. Then, I couldn’t afford the extra hardware for the webserver, since the webmaps have to run customised software on one’s own servers. Broadband connectivity was a major hurdle, and so things just started piling up.

    College has kept me terribly busy these past few months, hence the lack of any developments. And I’m not sure if there even will be any for the near future. I don’t see the incentive, really. Now you all know why.

  7. redsnapper (unregistered) on May 11th, 2006 @ 3:38 am

    @Adnan Mansoor.

    Try http://www.pkblogs.com/kartograph


    I didn’t see mention of any specific needs you might have other than (and in general only) money and time. Neither in the previous thread nor in this one.

    I have yet to see a capable and determined person who doesn’t get both. I am positive you will too.

    Having said that, there are questions you need to ask yourself. Will you find time if you have the “incentive” ? Does the incentive mean covering just your costs ? Or is it a deal better than that ? Whatever it is, you need to state it clearly.

    On time: Can you manage it alone ? Do you really need help ? If yes, what specific kind of help ? What are the areas of this project that you can manage on your own ? Is that realistic ? How much time are you willing to dedicate ? Have you thought of only the technical side of your requirements ? Do you need any non-technical help ? (Example: I found spelling mistakes and quite a bit of missing info in the kmz you posted. Either you don’t have the info yet or you chose not to share it in the kmz).

    And finally, whatever your needs (plus desire) on time and money, do you have a presentation on your project ? If you start making one and start answering the questions (above) to yourself, you may end up in a document which may help get you both money and time.

    If you like, share it here when you have something like that. You may start getting real volunteers here. You don’t have time for that too ? Not a big problem. Team up with someone from a business school and have them do it as part of any assignment.

    For money, have you contacted Google itself ? They may fund your effort. In the previous thread, there was a talk of local commercial companies working on mapping as well. Have you tried talking to any of them ? You could work out a deal where you get the rights to display the map for general public on the internet while they use it commercially elsewhere.

    There are so many things that are possible and thought of creatively. I have seen fairly large (non-commercial) projects done successfully with volunteers. No reason why you can’t. Needs a bit of project management.

    And don’t get disappointed by people who scamper away with your work or even plagiarism. After all, it is the best form of flattery :) Just keep your focus and you’ll succeed.

  8. Adnan Mansoor (unregistered) on May 11th, 2006 @ 9:36 am

    Very aptly said by REDSNAPPER, things get messy in the bigger picture. Looking at the prospects of this initiative, all I can say is that at initially the guys at ApnaKarachi were also faced with problems like the ones being mentioned over here. A little bit of effort would definitely pay off :)

    @ALIAS not to lose heart and keep it up with the suggestion of involving people from colleges n universities for this project.

  9. Adnan Mansoor (unregistered) on May 11th, 2006 @ 11:04 am

    @REDSNAPPER Thanks for the link. Yes the work done there is wondeful. I did not picked up earlier that the lead was yours.

  10. Khurram Farooq (unregistered) on May 11th, 2006 @ 12:36 pm


    I can try to help you as much as I can. I think this map is something important that we all need, and I am amazed by the amount of effort you have put in.

    If you are in need of a GPS unit, I can lend you mine.

    For any other help, contact me on khurramDOTfarooqATgmailDOTcom

  11. Adnan Mansoor (unregistered) on May 11th, 2006 @ 3:36 pm

    As they call it on letter and spirit, I think the offer to lend GPS is a definite plus, if Alias has not bought one yet ;)

    For the Karachi Map Master the support show is still going on or just I slipped into slippery water. Show not aimed at comedy at all, but for real hard work.

  12. alias (unregistered) on May 12th, 2006 @ 1:43 am

    Wow! Didn’t know you guys were so determined to get this done. Appreciate all the comments everyone has left. Really means a lot to have others’ support. :D

    @Khurram: I have sent you an email. Let me know what you think.

    @RedSnapper: Woah! That’s gonna take quite some time replying to, but I shall be brief. The Karachi MetBlog and Kartograph Blog aren’t the only places of info on the map. Previously, the primary site I posted my progress to was pnec.blogspot.com, but it had to be closed down for some reason (though a Google cache copy exists). Those who would have visited the site to download the map would have known what I needed, and some really did go out of their way to help with satellite imagery, real-estate maps and geodata. I guess it was my mistake I didn’t reiterate my needs elsewhere after the site vanished.

    Speaking of finances, yes, I did get some business propositions, but I wasn’t interested in any of those. On almost all circumstances, the other ‘party’ would have just piggy-back rided anyway. Ask Google? At US$391 per share, the giant’s got better things to do, especially since all it has done with GIS data has been to buy it and offer it for free. I did discuss the matter with some businessmen, but none of them found it appealing as it was not so commercially viable. Do keep in mind that the only agency that can supply maps is GSP, and they have a tough time differentiating between maps and mapping data.

    Speaking on time, I spoke to a LOT of students from different universities on the project, but even those studying civil engineering didn’t know the basics. Those rare instances when people did understand, teaching them how how to use GIS software was a brick wall I wasn’t ready to bang my head with. In contrast, consider the fact that I am working on the Lahore digital map with a young doctor in Lahore, who’s been enthusiastic enough to teach himself how to work on maps and help me out in so many ways. Lahore has the problem of lack of high-res satellite imagery, hence the delay.

    Referring to the KML, it was supposed to act as a source of info collected from the community. All that it contained had been gathered from the Google Earth BBS and compiled together in categories. I planned to add this data to the database to be available together on the webmaps.

    Technically, if I were to resume working on the map in a while, and if Khurram is able to do what I asked of him, I would be left with the task of minor tweaking of the database for accuracy. Once this is done, I would take all those roads (12,702 in number, 5,006 kms in length) and create a road network model out of it. This should have been the first thing I did, but I just came to know about it after further reading. Last, only interfacing it with a webserver is left to be done. Oh, and yes, the above road count only makes up 50% of the total roads in Karachi, only 5% of which are labelled.

    The above, I believe, I can handle on my own (after semester ends 6 weeks from now). Someone’s needed to handle the webmaps, and the easiest task in sight is by using a Google Maps mashup. This gives the added advantage of having 3 viewing modes (satellite, hybrid, map). Hardware can wait. If anyone’s up to it, let me know.

  13. Haroon (unregistered) on May 13th, 2006 @ 11:22 am


    Buddy you’re doing a great job. I can’t help you with the technical stuff as I totally sucks at it. But here are few links which might help you.




    Above mentioned companies are always looking for mapping experts. I guess they might want to fund your project. There is no harm in inquiring. Don’t forget to attach your sample work with the email.

    It’s always inspiring to see techy Karachiites. ;)

    Btw you’re right your studies comes first before anything. I hope you do well in every aspect of your life.


  14. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on May 13th, 2006 @ 11:43 am

    Alias:Mashallah very nice work brother,i really appreciate you precious effort for ppl of this cities,what I have understood from your blog that you are targetting GoogleEarth only,am I right?

    Between did you try Google Sketchup?http://sketchup.google.come ?A 3rd modelling enigne for Google earth

  15. redsnapper (unregistered) on May 14th, 2006 @ 4:41 pm


    Thanks for the detailed response. Being a non-tech myself, I hope the techies understood your requirements more clearly.

    And it is only fair for you to reject anyone who just piggy backs on your efforts. What you’re doing is extraordinary and, once again, I hope you succeed.

    You will also need to give credit to any volunteers that come to you. Either like Adobe where they list their development team OR like movie credits where you acknowledge people for specific areas.


    Anyone you know who can work with Alias ?

    The person required will need to pre-specify the time he/she is willing to devote and stick to it.

  16. alias (unregistered) on May 15th, 2006 @ 1:39 am

    Thanks! Though I seriously doubt those companies would be interested. Karachi does not serve as a possibility for commercial venture for anyone, and where there’s little business to earn from, Western companies (or any other, for that matter) show little interest.

    Adnan Siddiqui:
    Thank you! My target is NOT just Google Earth. I only plan to use it for collecting info from anyone who shares it with me. My actual target mediums in order of priority are:

    1. Searchable, routing, address-finding maps on a website.
    2. Google Maps/Earth KML files for displaying info on Google Earth.
    3. Paper maps. (I LOVE these!)
    4. Smartphones (Palm, PocketPC, Symbian… in order of priority).
    5. GPS devices (Garmin, Magellan, etc.)

    The 1st task is the most demanding one. Once it’s done, others are simply a matter of converting to a different format.

    3D models for Google Earth are out of the question. Thanks for the suggestion though! :)

    There are a couple of things I need help on. First, I need GPS coordinates for a few random places in Karachi. Like I have said before, I need them to fix the map alignment, or else the location of any point or line is going to be incorrect. Total time needed is not even more than 5 minutes. Please email me at KarachiMap AT gmail.com if you can help.

    I am also looking for real-estate maps. Contributions in the form of paper or scanned images (even in pieces) will tremendously help the task. The areas I have managed to scan copies of so far are: Korangi Industrial Zones 1 & 2, Gulzar-e-Hijri, Delhi Mercantile Society & Defence Phase 6, 8. Needless to say, I have already downloaded every map available for the city on the internet.

    Ofcourse, everyone who contributes receives recognition, as well as other benefits (e.g. map of any area at the highest resolution). ;) 3 contributers so far: desimaniac (satellite images), Z (software) & A (initial gps data). Thanks, guys!

  17. Adnan Mansoor (unregistered) on May 16th, 2006 @ 11:57 am

    @Khurram Farooq: As Alias is asking for GPS coordinates of diffferent Karachi spots for geo referencing, I think in line with keeping your promise you can help Alias in his quest.

    I pray that KarachiMap@gmail.com come up with good response for this project.

  18. Khurram Farooq (unregistered) on May 16th, 2006 @ 1:05 pm


    Me and Alias are discussing the same. I have promised to lend him my GPS unit so that he can do calibration to his heart’s content. I hope that will go far in making this vision a reality.

  19. Adnan Mansoor (unregistered) on May 16th, 2006 @ 3:29 pm

    Three cheers to this team and be one of those who strive to bring positives out of this trying environment.

    @Khurram Farooq: WELL DONE!

    My heart goes to your endeavour, may ALLAH bless you!

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