04/13/2013, 00.00
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Iran presents Basir, the Islamic "Google Earth"

Financed by Tehran, the programme will roll out in August to provide Muslim users with information and coordinates about Islam's holiest places. One of its first aspects will be to digitise the Qibla, the direction towards Makkah.

Tehran (AsiaNews/Agencies) - "Basir", a new 3-D mapping tool for the entire globe, will indicate the exact location of Islamic holy sites from anywhere in the world and "geographically" lead every Muslim to "the truth."

Defined by some as the "Google Earth Islamic" and funded by the Iranian government, the new Earth mapping programme created by Iranian programmers is expected to come online next August in order to compete in Muslim countries with sites like Wikipedia and Google.

In going public with the project, Iran's Ministry of Information and Communications Technology Mohammad Hassan Nami stressed that people around the world seek historical and scientific information on Google Earth and Wikipedia. "In reality, security and intelligence organisations are behind it in order to obtain information from other countries," Nami said. Basir on the contrary does not have financial goals and tries to guide people to truth.

For Nami, the site will be a great opportunity for users in Iran and around the world to learn more about the Muslim world, its traditions and principles.

The digitisation of the Qibla, the direction towards Kaaba in Makkah (Saudi Arabia), will be one of its main goals.


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