Mapping Pakistan: LUMS launch Tech for People Initiative

Published: April 19, 2012
" An MoU has been
signed with the
Punjab govt which
will bring street views
of some regions in
the province,"
Google Public Policy and
Government Affairs senior
analyst William Fitzgerald. GRAPHIC:SHEHREZAD MAHER

" An MoU has been signed with the Punjab govt which will bring street views of some regions in the province," Google Public Policy and Government Affairs senior analyst William Fitzgerald. GRAPHIC:SHEHREZAD MAHER


“A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed with the Punjab government to foster culture and promote tourism in the province. Google is committed to helping Pakistan progress,” said Google’s Public Policy and Government Affairs senior analyst William Fitzgerald while launching Technology for People Initiative (TPI) at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) on Wednesday.

Under the umbrella of the LUMS Research Initiative on Internet and Society, which was launched last week, the TPI is a joint venture between LUMS and Google. According to Fitzgerald, TPI has received Rs10 million funding from Google. Fitzgerald said the funding aimed to create collaborations and assist in implementation of projects. “Our maps were also helpful to the Army and helped disaster management efforts especially during the floods,” he said.

LUMS School of Science & Engineering Dean Dr Sohail Qureshi said he was looking forward to the partnership with LUMS.

Department Chair Dr Sohaib Khan said the focus in TPI would be on research and development projects. He said there were many areas especially in the health and education sectors where such initiatives could help in monitoring.

Vice Chancellor Dr Adil Najam said, “We want to talk about innovation and how we can make it real for Pakistan.” He said technology had empowered people by bridging physical distances and connecting them digitally. Dr Najam said in collaboration with Google, LUMS hoped to connect people and make innovation relevant to society.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 19th, 2012.

Correction: The article was revised to make the following changes:

– The title of the article was changed as LUMS launched the initiative; Google only provided seed funding.

– The MoU has been signed to promote culture and tourism; the street views have not been launched yet.

– Fitzgerald did not say they have worked with the Army; only the maps were helpful for them.

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Reader Comments (28)

  • akhroot
    Apr 19, 2012 - 4:05AM

    Do it for Karachi as well.


  • Hasham
    Apr 19, 2012 - 9:46AM

    IBA, wake up !!!


  • Faraz
    Apr 19, 2012 - 9:55AM

    conspiracy by the CIA to map our streets and increase infiltration/penetration. US can’t help us with anything, think about it (a very thoughtful conspiracy theory someone will come up with, I thought I can go ahead first and take the credit).


  • Ahmad
    Apr 19, 2012 - 9:59AM

    First brings the visionayr leader like SS.


  • SaQiB
    Apr 19, 2012 - 10:27AM

    Yay… would love to see lahore through street views


  • binary-zero
    Apr 19, 2012 - 10:48AM

    Wohooo !! Great news for Punjab !!


  • Mahmood
    Apr 19, 2012 - 11:00AM

    I can’t help but wonder what sort of impact this will have on already rising street crime in Pakistan’s major cities. Criminals will find it easier to scope the surroundings of their targets (banks, homes etc.) – all at the click of a button.


  • Mj
    Apr 19, 2012 - 12:11PM

    Good news, but the authorities better clean up the city before the garbage heaps are immortalized on google’s street view.


  • Atif Aslam
    Apr 19, 2012 - 12:19PM

    Great for Punjab… Y cant it be great for Pakistan!!!…

    Its all about ‘I’ coz no one bothers about ‘We’!!!!


  • reasonable
    Apr 19, 2012 - 12:20PM

    You beat me to it!


  • Raos
    Apr 19, 2012 - 12:30PM

    Why people are always afraid of technology in Pakistan.We have the same feeling when Radio was 1st on aired in Pakistan.People in that era boycotted who have the radio in their homes,Same story goes on for TV than cable,then Internet.Instead of sorting out the solution we stopped things to entering in our country but it never happened that some one stopped it.We create lot of conspiracy theory in between the lines by ourself.
    In my view its a good step by all the stake holders.


  • munchkin bob
    Apr 19, 2012 - 1:05PM

    get yourself dressed up, and if you see a google van taking 3d images nearby put a smile on your face – you are going to appear on google street view


  • Vigilant
    Apr 19, 2012 - 1:25PM

    ET plz improve your editing standards…….

    “LUMS School of Science & Engineering Dean Dr Sohail Qureshi said he was looking forward to the partnership with LUMS”


  • Zabandraz
    Apr 19, 2012 - 1:56PM

    For entire Pakistan!!!


  • Maqsood A Kayani
    Apr 19, 2012 - 2:09PM

    Why are we always so gullible as a nation ???

    Would this not make the task even easier for the RAW, CIA and Pentagon agents? Planning missions and attacks while sitting in the living rooms of their homes in USA / India ???

    Mind you, India has refused to allow Google to do Street-Mapping of India’s “sensitive zones”


    “Indian Cops to Google Street View: Stop Filming.
    Google has been prohibited from filming India for it’s Street View service.”


  • Maqsood A Kayani
    Apr 19, 2012 - 2:18PM

    Google Street View cameras halted in India
    21 June 2011
    Google has suspended filming with Street View cameras in India.
    Google’s now infamous Street View camera cars only set to work on the streets of Bangalore last month, but already Indian authorities have ordered Google to suspend taking images because it has not secured the necessary security clearance.

    Google has said that after Bangalore, it plans to map all major cities in India – the 27th country in which the firm plans to launch Street View. As well as cars, Google had been using some tricycles with Street View’s chunky camera equipment attached. Local police were concerned that Bangalore has several military institutions, and a statement given by Google to the AFP confirmed that Google had suspended the operation following a letter from Bangalore’s police commissioner.

    Street View concerns in developing countries are significantly different to obstacles Google has hit recently in Germany and Switzerland, which were about privacy and data retention. Street View Brazil reportedly snapped dead bodies, while in India there are also sensitivities in the wake of the Mumbai attacks and from several bombings in Bangalore itself.


  • Maqsood A Kayani
    Apr 19, 2012 - 2:20PM

    Germans to Google Street View: Nein!


    Oct 22, 2010

    When Google Street View launches in Germany at year-end, at least 3% of the homes in the country’s 20 biggest cities will look pretty darn fuzzy—intentionally. Some 244,000 of the 8.5 million German households located there have requested that their homes be blurred out before the launch, the Wall Street Journal reports, and that number could soon climb once the rest of Germany is included.

    A data-protection official in Hamburg said he expected more than a million homes to request blurring. Google says there may be a few glitches at first, leaving some households briefly visible despite their request. But the firm remains “confident,” according to a spokeswoman, who noted that the number of opt-out applications shows most Germans are willing to have their homes appear.


  • Maqsood A Kayani
    Apr 19, 2012 - 2:20PM

    Google fined $25,000 for US street data collection

    WASHINGTON, Mon Apr 16 2012,

    Google Inc faces a $25,000 fine for impeding a US investigation into the Web search leader’s data collection for its Street View project, which allows users to see street level images when they map a location. The Federal Communications Commission said the company had collected personal information without permission, and cited evidence that Google had deliberately refused to cooperate with the agency.

    Google refused to identify any employees or produce any e-mails. The company could not supply compliant declarations without identifying employees it preferred not to identify, according to an FCC order dated April 13.
    Misconduct of this nature threatens to compromise the commission’s ability to effectively investigate possible violations of the Communications Act and the commission’s rules.

    Google could not be reached for comment. Between May 2007 and May 2010, Google collected data from wifi networks throughout the United States and throughout the world as part of the Street View project, which gives users of Google Map and Google Earth the ability to view street level images of structures and land adjacent to roads and highways.

    However, Google collected passwords, Internet usage history and other highly sensitive personal data that was not needed for its location database project, the FCC said. Google publicly acknowledged in May 2010 that it had collected the so-called payload data, leading to an FCC investigation on whether it had violated the Communications Act.


  • Trapeze Swinger
    Apr 19, 2012 - 3:21PM

    LUMS School of Science & Engineering Dean Dr Sohail Qureshi said he was looking forward to the partnership with LUMS. -> Partnership with LUMS or Google?


  • Nadeem Rana
    Apr 19, 2012 - 4:34PM

    we should compete with the world rather than labelling these projects part of conspiracy theories. Why dont we as a nation uplift our country in the field of technology so that we can run this race with full capability.


  • Alas....!!!!
    Apr 19, 2012 - 5:41PM

    a true visionary he is…..
    roofless schools all over Punjab, student drop out maximum in punjab…..laptops to FA BA students when all they need is affordable education…chicken 250/ kg (control sheds), mutton 600/ kg (smuggling to middle east), fake drug scandal in Services Hospital, inter results scandal, useless flyovers……example of which is muslim town flyover which has created problems at icchra already…..sectrianism at its highest, nop price control in general…..
    yes he is visionary….!!!!!!!
    and i am talking of just the tip of iceberg…there is so much else a common man is suffering due to this road loving man……!!!!!!!!!!
    (I am sure this comment will either be deleted or edited….but remember I am neither PPP nor PTI nor JI nor anyone else….I am plain Pakistani)


  • Khan
    Apr 19, 2012 - 5:54PM

    @Maqsood A Kayani:
    I really pity the way you are taking this negatively .. Street maps are extremely useful for everyday use of common people. One could argue against Cell phones too that it can be used for adverse activities but its how you use it makes it useful.
    India has suspended it not stopped it because there was no prior security clearance taken for it

    Did you miss that part of your own link already?

    You would need such clearance so that GMaps knows which areas and buildings are sensitive and thus they don’t provide street view of those areas.
    Even here in the UK if a street residence want to opt out they will simply ask google and they will not provide a ST for it. We use it all the time whenever going to a place for the first time thus it help us finding it quickly and one doesn’t have to wander around.

    Would this not make the task even easier for the RAW, CIA and Pentagon agents? Planning missions and attacks while sitting in the living rooms of their homes in USA / India ???

    For that one doesn’t need street view as there are already satellite images available .. Do you think those countries would use for finding such places? If we have access to 100 feet satellite view for all cities do you really think they already don’t have 100 times better map view?.
    Besides you should be more worried about those criminals destroying our country than worrying about USA or any other country.


  • Alas....!!!!
    Apr 19, 2012 - 5:55PM

    and now giving free license to others to take pictures at Ground level in near 360 degree scenario…conspiracy theory or not…but this is idiocracy at its best….


  • Khan
    Apr 19, 2012 - 6:04PM

    I really hope this project is extended to Northern areas along with cities like Karachi, Lahore, Quetta, Peshawar etc so that it can be transformed and used for Sat Navs.
    There are many people who would love to visit northern areas or do travel across Pakistan but due to lack and unavailability of maps and satellite navigators they don’t take the chance.
    I personally would love to go to Kaghan/Naran, Fairy meadows or on a trip from Peshawar to Karachi only if i knew how to.


  • Falcon
    Apr 19, 2012 - 6:34PM

    Agree with you completely.


  • Apr 21, 2012 - 9:16AM

    The Pakistan Army, which is usually paranoid about bridges and old buildings’ photography, must see how detailed Google maps really are. And there’s no point is disallowing photography on the streets. But can the soldier understand?


  • Lahori
    Apr 23, 2012 - 3:15PM

    We’ve got to publish the beauty in our Northern areas (Gilgit Baltistan and scenic regions of KPK) on the web … specially on a platform like google maps/street views


  • Aqeel
    Jun 8, 2012 - 4:48PM

    Hahahahah. Six decades or so did not change our mentality. CIA is doing this to do what??. They have everything you can imagine few decades ago. Give Pakistan a break. It has to come out of this Daldal. Bangladesh is growing faster than Pakistan..


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