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Tue 2 Sep 2008 12:52 PM

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Firm maps out future with Qatar contract

Start-up company wins innovative $400,000 job to create automated map of Qatar for road users.

Finding your way around Qatar could soon be easier, thanks to an innovative new technology being developed.

Qatar Science & Technology Park has awarded a $400,000 to Qatar Navigator, a local start-up company, to develop an automated map of the country.

The company will survey and digitise Qatar’s roads and points of interests, with the eventual aim of licensing the map to companies and local drivers.

Hamad Al Kuwari, general manager of Qatar Navigator, said: “As Doha residents know it can be difficult to specify where a site is located and then find your way there.

"Another issue is the roads and buildings in Qatar change very quickly. By using the latest automated mapping technology, we think we can produce maps more accurately and more quickly.”

Qatar Navigator will drive around the country with a special video camera that simultaneously captures images and GPS coordinates, automatically generating a detailed map of roads and landmarks.

Students from Qatar University will join the project, assisting with the surveying, digitising and uploading of information.

The project is expected to take five months to complete and the maps will be usable by common in-car navigation systems, as well as almost any other mobile device equipped with GPS.

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