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Significance of implementing E-Map for Colombo city

The invention of modern technologies has changed many things in the world significantly. Among many technologies that have emerged, the position occupied by the Internet is unmatched. The centuryís wonder tool INTERNET has the ability to change everything it touches, similar to how telephone has revolutionized the world in the last century. Keeping this in mind letís look how Internet is going to change our way of commuting in the future.

E- Map or the electronic map is what is usually available on the Internet for the use of commuters. In this process the printed version of the map converts to an electronic interactive map with added features and makes it available on the Internet for the convenience of public. Comparatively E-map can provide an array of features and services to its users than the paper-format map could simply provide.

E-map is a well-known citizenís service in every country

Among them the interactive feature associated in E-map is the most significant feature we ever find. This allows user to feed their quarries in to the map to find their locations instantly with high accuracy.

Where Sri Lanka is considered the availability of such a map is essential in all aspects. To understand the importance of having an E-map for Colombo city we need to identify the key benefits it provides. If implemented correctly this map could be used as a platform for linking other services available on the Internet. Therefore this interactive web based map could provide an extensive service to the public by simplifying their tasks in daily life.

Road closures

Being a web-based map it has many advantages than the map printed on a paper. Unlike in printed map this E-map could be updated regularly as any change takes place. If the real time feature is enabled, temporary road closures also could be displayed in the map with alternative routes and diversions that commuters should take in such an event.

This flexibility is unmatched and suits for the fast developing Colombo city. If anyone needs to find a place or a road, the search window provides the key names instead of wasting precious time by going through lists of names normally we find in printed maps.

As we know, using a public transport service to travel to a desired location is very difficult especially when you intend to travel in the Colombo city. Hence many commuters are compelled to use their own vehicles instead of public transport services. This creates unnecessary road congestion in the city limits thus leading to environmental problems.

The pilling vehicular traffic would waste thousands of fuel liters. This would be an additional weight on our national economy and could cause a number of health hazards among people living in the Colombo city. This problem could be averted by introducing an E-map for the Colombo city in the future. To do this we have to integrate route numbers of the buses in to this interactive E-map at first place. For instance if someone wants to travel to a cinema all he got to do is to move his mouse cursor over the cinema to discover the route numbers of buses that travel in the close proximity of the cinema.

Further to enhance this feature additional interactive components could also be added. One such thing will be the bus route highlighting method which could be used to identify the exact route of the bus that takes place through its entire journey.

If we take the above example once again it would be easier to explain. Assume that the commuter has found the route number of the buses that travel in the proximity of the cinema. Now his next step would be to find the roads and streets these buses will take to reach Liberty Cinema.

When the bus route highlighting method is provided in the E-map, single click on the bus route number will highlight and indicate the entire route of the particular bus that takes from its start to the destination. Thereon the commuter can decide the nearest location or the town where he can aboard this bus. Similarly if the bus route number is keyed the commuter or user of E-map can find the route that particular bus takes in its journey.

The next feature is the location finder that comes with the E-map. With this facility one could find any location on the map almost instantly by typing the name of the location he or she wants to find. To enhance the services provided this E-map can also be linked to GPS and other navigational systems in the future to work with other apparatus.

Mobile phones

Being a web based program E-map could easily be accessed with mobile phones and other inexpensive handheld multimedia devices widely available in the market.

It is obvious that this information could be obtained without a computer. While on the bus or in the car we could access the E-map instantly to continue our journey in a hassle free environment.

However in addition to its primary objectives E-map can also be used to provide numerous other services and information to the general public. Through web linking the E-map could link thousands of web sites in the country with the use of its interface. For example, if we select any particular organization, building or even a police station on the map it will display the basic information about the organization such as telephone numbers and its web address. And if the user needs to discover more details he or she could access the web site of the particular organization with a single click on the map.

This would be very useful in cases where only the location of the institute or the hospital is known and not the web address.

In reality once the E-map is developed it provides us the opportunity to add more features and interactive components to further enhance its content. One such feature is the real-time vehicular traffic monitoring service we could integrate in the E-map for the use of commuters. Monitoring cameras could also be fixed at major junctions for the monitoring and surveillance purposes by allowing commuters to see them live.

To obtain more accurate details about movie traffic embedded electronic traffic sensors could also be fixed on the road and their signals can be converted and categorized according to specified speed levels that would be shown on the E-map with different colour levels.

For example, colour red for traffic moving slow and below 5Km/h. Yellow for the traffic moving at 10km/h and finally green for the speeds above 20km/h.

Key services

If correctly implemented it would be beneficial to the Police Department as well. E-map is an evolving thing. Many features could be introduced as it progresses.

To promote Internet in Sri Lanka we have to insert public utility and citizen services in key application areas for the use of the general public.

By strategically hosting key services in areas where people use regularly that will influence them to use Internet more frequently than ever before. This would be the ideal way to increase our Internet usage level in the country.

What we should not forget is people will never consider using the Internet as long as they do not see any benefit in return.

Therefore if we implement E-map immediately we have the opportunity to enhance the peopleís living standards and at the same time promoting Internet usage among citizens.

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