LAHORE (PR) - Tracking World (Pvt) Ltd and Data Solutions (Pvt) Ltd have announced Pakistan's first full-featured personal and in-car navigation system. Based on Tracking World's experience of more than five years in Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL), and Data Solutions' 11 years of expertise in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), the two companies have joined hands to introduce a product that many did not think was possible in Pakistan for several years. Indeed, it will take most Pakistanis by surprise. Appropriately called the Pakistan Navigator, the product employs Garmin's world renowned and trend-setting array of Global Positioning System (GPS) devices as its hardware platform. Based on live data from up to 11 satellites in orbit around the earth, a GPS device calculates its position - latitude, longitude, altitude - on earth and displays it on a screen. The Pakistan Navigator then plots that location on a detailed map of Pakistan, which includes streets and small towns. It thus shows a user his or her exact location on the map. But this is just the tip of the iceberg, as Pakistan Navigator can do infinitely more. It guides the user from any point in Pakistan to any other point by drawing a highlighted route on the map. It shows the user all the mosques, schools, parks, restaurants, petrol stations, banks, ATMs and many other points-of-interest (PoI) near the users current location or any other chosen location. Restaurants are also categorised according to the type of cuisine they serve. Once the user selects a PoI, Pakistan Navigator then guides the user in real-time via screen and voice prompts through every road and every turn. An icon of a vehicle constantly moves on the screen, showing the user his or her exact location on the road and a voice prompt says, for example, "In 200 meters, turn right on Mall Road." The GPS device can be installed in any vehicle, including motorcycles and bicycles, or carried around in hand while walking. The joint venture chose Garmin as its hardware platform because it is the world's largest and most prestigious manufacturer of GPS devices. "We made no compromise on quality," said Khurram Qaiser, CEO of Tracking World, at the inaugural press briefing in Lahore. "We're offering the best thing out there. Garmin is the Mercedes of GPS." It wasn't easy to get Garmin interested in a new country for which maps were previously not available. It was only because of Tracking World's prior AVL reputation and relationships with GPS manufacturers that Garmin took notice. Based on this success, the joint venture has now engaged big names in car entertainment to integrate Pakistan Navigator with their in-dash CD or DVD units. The software, maps, routing and searching algorithms that drive Pakistan Navigator are a result of more than two years' of intense GIS and programming efforts at Data Solutions. The company's website, www.naqsha.net, is the first and only one available to the general public free of charge for fully searchable and routable maps of Pakistan. Shortly, the website will also allow its users to directly upload their personal POIs and routes to their Garmin GPS units. Naqsha.net has generated tremendous interest and will always remain free for all users. "We got into this business because we love making maps, using maps, or just looking at maps and we wanted to do our bit to pave the way for development in this country," said Riaz Raheem, MD of Data Solutions. "We want all Pakistanis to freely share the joy and benefits of using maps.