My Something Worthwhile…

Before coming to Singapore, when I was free in my last days in Karachi after leaving my job, I was involved for a while in the redesign of ApnaKarachi.com. A major part of the overhaul was the new section of ApnaKarachi Maps which provide street-level maps of the city of Karachi. I was in charge of developing the back end of the maps section and as well as managing the people involved in it. We planned to finish and deploy the site for the public before I’d leave for Singapore, but tweaks here and there made maps a little late. I completed the major chunk of the work when I was in Pakistan, and while in Singapore I generally just made things work accommodating the “wish list”.

The ApnaKarachi Maps are now live for sometime now. The site itself has been redesigned and different sections added to it. Its now “bigger and better” in the true sense.

The basic motivation behind the Maps was that Pakistan per se doesn’t have any worthwhile representation in major map sites like Google or Yahoo! Maps, so we intended to provide that kind of information and facility to our people. We have just started with Karachi, other cities would definitely on the way.

As everybody knows that I’m a pretty unassuming guy and I generally don’t do any kind of self-embellishment, but the purpose of this post is to solicit feedback and ideas to make the Maps better and more useful. It’s seldom that we do something worthwhile for our country/people, and while such an initiative is going on and you can be a part of it, then you must.

Please also spread the word around. This service is solely provided for the benefit of people, so the more people use it, the more we would be in the position to improve it.

PS: Don’t forget to say some nice words to me!

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Elections, Selections?

After getting pretty much pissed off at Geo live streaming which I am simply starting to detest, I tried checking out the election results online. Pretty much to my horror, the first result on Google is about Politics of Yemen from Wikipedia. The second result is from some apparent “seer” who tries to predict future events and had written something about the elections on his blog a few days back.

At first glance, the first page of results doesn’t look really promising. There is this elections.com.pk link with the title of Pakistan Elections 2008 results, but you know how search engines work and you definitely check out the full link of the result; which apparently is results2002.php. So that result should go in the bin also but a little probing reveals that it is supposed to be a valid website with current results (I think so).

The whole motivation for this post was that people around the world aren’t generally taking interest in elections of our little homeland. Checking out Google Trends for the phrase “pakistan elections” tells you promptly that:

“Your terms – pakistan elections – do not have enough search volume to show graphs.

I feel that it’s only being treated like a chutti in Pakistan. I mean, even Benazir Bhutto assassination made it to the top searches in Google at least for that day. No such thing for elections. Nobody is interested in our elections. We don’t even have a proper website for elections. Okay there may be a proper website but its not Web 2.0. Its not glossy and shiny. Even the Pakistani population is not checking the results out online. It all comes down to the same conclusion: farcical elections.

Let’s see what happens when results are really consolidated. Who gets in and who is being kicked out. Who would become the master of a volatile nation, if its not decided already.

We are not cool…