India is planning to rival Google Earth by building a higher-resolution web-based global mapping service.
The service, dubbed Bhuvan, has been developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in collaboration with India's software industry.
Bhuvan, which means "earth" in Sanskrit, will be backed by India's satellite network and provided to users free of charge, but top quality images may come at a cost in future, according to the Financial Times.
The service, which will cover India only at first, has been designed to deliver higher quality and more frequently updated images than Google Earth, the ISRO claims.
The ISRO plans to have a prototype ready before the end of the year to launch the service early in 2009.
The ISRO has not released any details of the cost of the project, which comes very soon after last month's launch of Chandrayaan-1, India's first moon mission.
The next major event in the Chandrayaan-1 programme is the release of the Moon Impact Probe "in the coming days" the ISRO said.