My Summer Internship at Here Maps, India
Ever since the pandemic shut down in-person classes at my university back in 2020, my exposure to actual industry workflow was dramatically reduced. Academics soon resumed via online meetings but I wanted to experience hands-on what it meant to be working in the tech field of today. Therefore, when I got a chance to work directly on the HERE maps API over my long vacation via the summer internship course provided by Bennett University, I jumped at the chance. This blog highlights my day-to-day over 2 months, what I learned and what aspiring trainees can look forward to while we all wait for things to return to normal.
The parent company of the web mapping division, HERE Technologies is now owned by a consortium of automobile companies with others like Intel having minority stakes in it. Its India office is located in Mumbai from where it deploys its popular PaaS services for use in maps software primarily used for real-time navigation support and metrics. On clearing the resume shortlisting, all of us selected for the training internship were introduced to the latest, in-use version of the web API and shown how it seamlessly melds user-collated data and satellite imagery to provide users with accurate map data throughout the world.
Soon after the onboarding, we were told to divide ourselves into groups of 7–10 and select a leader amongst us could effectively communicate with our company rep, Mr. Abhiram Athavale and keep track of our team’s weekly performance. Fortunately, giving us the option to select our own groups allowed me to team up with people I knew from classes at college allowing us to gel together quickly and immediately start work on our first tasks. We were given specialized links to create our trainee accounts on the map creator and a week to familiarize ourselves with the core interface we would be working on for the next couple of months.
Once all of us in the student program were ready to work, we were then given daily KPIs in the form of place and house numbers edits to be done individually and weekly targets to be met on a whole by every team. All our changes were first locally stored and recorded in the statistics section of the creator before being approved to be added to the public database by our coordinator as shown below.
We divided cities within our team and began with simple additions or edits to new places especially in remote areas of the country which needed markers for major places of interest for improved efficiency of the pathfinding algorithms baked into the API. Slowly, as we started staying well ahead of our weekly evaluations we branched out more into editing three-dimensional models of primary buildings, connected and highlighted paths and roads using multiple sources and even made edits to house numbers in housing societies using data gathered from property broker sites.
At the end of our internship, we were to be judged on 48 days worth of work on any and all of the categories of edits allowed on the creator tool. All of our efforts and cooperation soon paid off as everyone in my team exceeded our required quotas and were appreciated in the consistency shown. This was possible in no small part due to the support provided to us by the company itself as well as my university which found an excellent opportunity for me and my peers in such uncertain times.
So anyone who’s been reading this long and is excited to set off on their own professional journeys has to be wondering, what should we expect from the Student Community Program at HERE maps? In short, an entirely new experience compared to how and what you’ve learnt elsewhere. It was my first time working on mapping software and the sheer confluence of different technologies at work behind the scenes of such services is simply staggering to put it mildly. If you would like to continue working in this field, post completing the community program you can get started with the developer programs through which you can use the entire HERE location platform data all the while using the dev builds to implement new solutions like AR and intelligent algorithms.
Apart from learning to work on deadlines and collaborating with others, you can work on anything from the GUI that makes an excellent mapping application to backend implementations that weave together different data sources to provide us with accurate navigational steps every time. No matter what interests you in computerized technologies, GIS mapping software has something for everyone.
My time at HERE maps has helped me immensely by teaching me how this interconnected global system works and has given me invaluable work experience that will definitely give me an edge in whatever I pursue in my career going forward.
Commonly used terms
- API — Application Programming Interface
- PaaS — Platform as a Service
- KPI — Key Performance Indicators
- AR — Augmented Reality
- GUI — Graphical User Interface
- GIS — Geographic Information System
- Cutting-edge location data and software solutions — https://www.here.com/
- Public version of the general mapping software — https://wego.here.com/
- The tool I used during my time as an intern — https://mapcreator.here.com/
- Here developer programs — https://developer.here.com/
- GIS features — https://eos.com/
- Copyright-free logos and fair-use screenshots used from the Here WeGo Wikipedia page — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Here_WeGo