I write an article in Financial Express about maps and map databases titled New thinking on a traditional public good.
See excellent responses on this on the India mailing list of openstreetmap: by B V Pradeep and by Satyaakam Goswami. And, see Want to map your hometown? Throw a party by Poornima Mohandas in Mint. For background on openstreetmaps, see this this article by Gary Richmond from October 2008.