Dubai: Dubai Municipality is planning to publish the offline version of Makani to encourage more people and firms to use the indigenous digital addressing system of the emirate.
The move to release a new version, which will give access to a majority of the features in the Makani app while offline, follows public demand, an official said on Monday.
“This was the most frequent demand that we received when we collected feedback from the customers through four surveys. Though there is free WiFi in many public places, people prefer getting offline data. So, we are working on the offline version of Makani,” said Sumaya Esmail Al Zarouni, Makani project manager at the GIS Department of the municipality.
She could not provide a time frame for the release of the offline version which, she said, is a new concept in the region. However, once it is released, she said, the app will be in offline mode by default. “Then you can choose various features that will be available offline. Some features will remain online and there will be notifications that will tell customers the need to connect to the internet for using them,” said Al Zarouni.
In the offline version, Makani users will be able to see the location maps without turning on the data package or connecting to WiFi. “You will be able to search the location offline by using the Makani number, or the building name, or landmark name. Other features such as coordinate converter, sharing location, adding to contact, etc, will also be available offline.”
However, for navigation, live street view and satellite imagery of locations, users will have to go online.
“Even for navigation, you will not have to be online all the time. You can go online and seek directions. Once the route plan is drawn by the app, you can go offline again and follow that route. But, in that case, you will have to stick to the route map drawn while online [which may change during the course of commute while online, depending on traffic and road diversions].”
Al Zarouni said the civic body is keeping Makani online data updated in cooperation with Google Map, while it is working with Here Map for the offline version.
Makani in more emirates
Hussain Nasser Lootah, director-general of Dubai Municipality, signed two separate agreements with Munther Mohammad Al Zaabi, director- general of Ras Al Khaimah Municipality, and Hassan Salem Yamahi, director-general of Dibba Al Fujairah Municipality.
Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah municipalities had signed similar Memorandums of Understanding recently.
As per the agreement, Dubai Municipality will provide Ras Al Khaimah and Dibba-Al Fujairah municipalities all the means, including training and technical consultation, necessary to implement the Makani system within their geographical jurisdictions. The other municipalities will provide Dubai Municipality the updated spatial data of landmarks within their geographical jurisdictions to be used within the Makani application system.