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Microsoft’s new Indian research lab to focus on GIS

Microsoft is setting up a research lab in Bangalore, India, that will focus on areas including computing technologies for emerging markets.

The new lab, called Microsoft Research India, goes online in January, and will be part of a network of five research labs that Microsoft runs worldwide, said Padmanabhan Anandan, managing director of Microsoft Research India.

Besides computing technologies for emerging markets, the Bangalore lab will also research multilingual systems, GIS and sensors and sensor network applications, Anandan said. The lab will also research new types of hardware and software.

Research in the area of GIS will include using satellite imagery, maps and other data, and then collating and indexing that information geographically, and providing ways of visualising the information for different requirements, according to Anandan.

GIS research will allow Microsoft to understand how to extend its SQL (structured query language) database technology to become a geographical database, he said.

Environmental applications of sensor networks, novel sensors for rural communities and distributed computing in sensor networks will be other research areas in the new lab. Although the research will focus on back-end infrastructure, database and application software for these networks, Bangalore researchers may also research the front-ends of these networks, such as the sensors, according to Anandan.