Tag Archives: Google Maps

Environmental Insights Explorer Expands: 100 Australian councils and counting

Environmental Insights Explorer 

Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is a crucial step in fighting the climate crisis. And cities now account for more than 70 percent of global emissions. But measuring exactly which activities—whether it’s buildings, cars, or public transport—are contributing to emissions, and by how much, is complex. Without this information, cities can neither understand the challenges they face, nor the impact of their environmental policies. 

This is the problem we’re working to solve with Environmental Insights Explorer (EIE), an online platform that provides building and transportation emissions, as well as solar potential analysis to make it easier for cities to measure progress against their climate action plans. Launched in 2018 for a handful of cities around the world including Melbourne, with Sydney, Canberra and Adelaide then added in 2019, EIE has helped councils accelerate GHG reduction efforts. Today, we’ve expanded EIE data access to thousands of cities worldwide, including 100+ Australian councils. 

To scale data access to local governments, policy makers and community groups, we’re also developing partnerships with leading Australian organisations, councils, and climate change experts. This includes a new partnership with Ironbark Sustainability and Beyond Zero Emissions to make EIE transportation data available for 100+ councils in Snapshot—a free tool that calculates major sources of carbon emissions, including stationary energy, transport, waste, agriculture, and land-use change. Snapshot allows municipalities to easily compare their sources of carbon emissions. This data integration will provide updated GHG profiles and enable local government policy decision-making for more than 86 percent of the country's population to put councils on a fast track for delivering commitments, building local resilience, and ensuring economic recovery. 
Accelerated city-wide analysis 
By analysing Google’s comprehensive global mapping data together with GHG emission factors, EIE estimates city-scale building and transportation carbon emissions data with the ability to drill down into more specific data such as vehicle-kilometres travelled by mode (automobiles, public transit, biking, etc.) and the percentage of emissions generated by residential or non-residential buildings. 
The insights that EIE provides have traditionally required many months of research, and a lot of resources for cities undertaking a climate action plan. Using Google’s proprietary data coupled with machine learning capabilities, we can produce a complete survey of a city that can be assessed very quickly. In this way, EIE allows cities to leapfrog tedious and costly data collection and analysis. 
EIE transport data now available in Snapshot for 100+ councils 

The next chapter 
Over the next few months, we’ll be working together to help Australian councils learn more about data insights from EIE and expand data coverage to more councils. We hope that by making EIE data accessible to more councils across Australia, we’ll help nurture an ecosystem that can bring climate action plans to life. 


Environmental Insights Explorer Expands: 100 Australian councils and counting

Environmental Insights Explorer 

Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is a crucial step in fighting the climate crisis. And cities now account for more than 70 percent of global emissions. But measuring exactly which activities—whether it’s buildings, cars, or public transport—are contributing to emissions, and by how much, is complex. Without this information, cities can neither understand the challenges they face, nor the impact of their environmental policies. 

This is the problem we’re working to solve with Environmental Insights Explorer (EIE), an online platform that provides building and transportation emissions, as well as solar potential analysis to make it easier for cities to measure progress against their climate action plans. Launched in 2018 for a handful of cities around the world including Melbourne, with Sydney, Canberra and Adelaide then added in 2019, EIE has helped councils accelerate GHG reduction efforts. Today, we’ve expanded EIE data access to thousands of cities worldwide, including 100+ Australian councils. 

To scale data access to local governments, policy makers and community groups, we’re also developing partnerships with leading Australian organisations, councils, and climate change experts. This includes a new partnership with Ironbark Sustainability and Beyond Zero Emissions to make EIE transportation data available for 100+ councils in Snapshot—a free tool that calculates major sources of carbon emissions, including stationary energy, transport, waste, agriculture, and land-use change. Snapshot allows municipalities to easily compare their sources of carbon emissions. This data integration will provide updated GHG profiles and enable local government policy decision-making for more than 86 percent of the country's population to put councils on a fast track for delivering commitments, building local resilience, and ensuring economic recovery. 
Accelerated city-wide analysis 
By analysing Google’s comprehensive global mapping data together with GHG emission factors, EIE estimates city-scale building and transportation carbon emissions data with the ability to drill down into more specific data such as vehicle-kilometres travelled by mode (automobiles, public transit, biking, etc.) and the percentage of emissions generated by residential or non-residential buildings. 
The insights that EIE provides have traditionally required many months of research, and a lot of resources for cities undertaking a climate action plan. Using Google’s proprietary data coupled with machine learning capabilities, we can produce a complete survey of a city that can be assessed very quickly. In this way, EIE allows cities to leapfrog tedious and costly data collection and analysis. 
EIE transport data now available in Snapshot for 100+ councils 

The next chapter 
Over the next few months, we’ll be working together to help Australian councils learn more about data insights from EIE and expand data coverage to more councils. We hope that by making EIE data accessible to more councils across Australia, we’ll help nurture an ecosystem that can bring climate action plans to life. 


Helping the Haitian economy, one line of code at a time

Posted by Jennifer Kohl, Program Manager, Developer Community Programs

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Eustache Luckens Yadley at a GDG Port-au-Prince meetup

Meet Eustache Luckens Yadley, or “Yadley” for short. As a web developer from Port-au-Prince, Yadley has spent his career building web applications that benefit the local Haitian economy. Whether it’s ecommerce platforms that bring local sellers to market or software tools that help local businesses operate more effectively, Yadley has always been there with a technical hand to lend.

However, Yadley has also spent his career watching Haiti’s unemployment numbers rise to among the highest in the Caribbean. As he describes it,


“Every day, several thousand young people have no job to get by.”


So with code in mind and mouse in hand, Yadley got right to work. His first step was to identify a need in the economy. He soon figured out that Haiti had a shortage of delivery methods for consumers, making home delivery purchases of any kind extremely unreliable. With this observation, Yadley also noticed that there was a surplus of workers willing to deliver the goods, but no infrastructure to align their needs with that of the market’s.

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Yadley watching a demo at a GDG Port-au-Prince meetup

In this moment, Yadley did what many good developers would do: build an app. He created the framework for what is now called “Livrezonpam,” an application that allows companies to post where and when they need a particular product delivered and workers to find the corresponding delivery jobs closest to them.

With a brilliant solution, Yadley’s last step was to find the right technical tools to build the concept out and make it a viable platform that users could work with to their benefit.

It was at this crucial step when Yadley found the Port-au-Prince Google Developer Group. With GDG Port-au-Prince, Yadley was able to bring his young app right into the developer community, run different demos of his product to experienced users, and get feedback from a wide array of developers with an intimate knowledge of the Haitian tech scene. The takeaways from working in the community translated directly to his work. Yadley learned how to build with the Google Cloud Platform Essentials, which proved key in managing all the data his app now collects. He also learned how to get the Google Maps Platform API working for his app, creating a streamlined user experience that helped workers and companies in Haiti locate one another with precision and ease.

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This wide array of community technical resources, from trainings, to mentors, to helpful friends, allowed Yadley to grow his knowledge of several Google technologies, which in turn allowed him to grow his app for the Haitian community.

Today, Yadley is still an active member of the GDG community, growing his skills and those of the many friends around him. And at the same time, he is still growing Librezonpam on the Google Play App Store to help local businesses reach their customers and bring more jobs directly to the people of Haiti.


Ready to start building with a Google Developer Group near you? Find the closest community to you, here.

Our commitment to India during COVID-19 and beyond

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the health and lives of many across the country, requiring all of us to make fundamental changes to the way we live. State and public health officials across the country are doing their best to manage this unprecedented situation. At the same time, we have been inspired by how the country has come together to support the valiant efforts of healthcare workers, with businesses stepping up to provide vital resources and support, and NGOs rallying to support vulnerable communities whose livelihoods are impacted. 


Overcoming a crisis of this scale will take sustained and concerted effort, and we want to do everything we can to help. Since the virus first began to spread, our focus at Google has been on making sure people have the information and tools they need to stay informed and connected. But we know there’s much more work ahead. 


Today, we’re sharing an update on the actions that Google has taken in India to help bring authoritative and reliable information to people, and provide features across its products that can be helpful during these trying times.


Promoting authoritative and reliable information sources 

It is crucial that people have access to health information they can trust online, so they can make the right decisions to protect themselves, and those around them, from COVID-19.  We have upped our work to curb misinformation across various platforms and prominently surface the latest updates and health advice from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and international health authorities across Search, Maps, YouTube and the COVID-19 Spot on Google Pay.

Caption: (Left) On Search, queries for Coronavirus now display consolidated results, with tabs for quick access to information on symptoms, prevention, and more 

On Search, when a person launches a query for Coronavirus they will see a page with consolidated information including the top news stories, links to MoHFW resources, as well as access to authoritative content on symptoms, prevention, treatments and more. In line with government directives, when people search for medical facilities like hospitals, doctors or testing centers, we surface authoritative guidelines from the MoHFW on reaching out to central and state COVID-19 helplines that are equipped to assist with next steps.

Across YouTube’s homepage, search, and recommendation systems, we are elevating authoritative information sources such as the MoHFW and WHO, driving users directly to these websites for trustworthy and reliable information.  YouTube has also launched a Coronavirus News Shelf on the YouTube Homepage, which provides the latest news from authoritative media outlets regarding the outbreak. 


All searches and videos on YouTube related to COVID-19 trigger Information and health panels that provide additional information on the topic, linking to the MoHFW website and the global WHO website. 


                 
Caption: Information Panel (Left) and Health Panel (Right) on YouTube


In addition to elevating authoritative sources, we are also quickly removing reported videos that violate YouTube’s community guidelines, including those that discourage people from seeking medical treatment or encourage the use of unsubstantiated remedies to treat COVID-19.

Bringing helpful features to Google’s product and services

Our product teams continue to build features that enable people to find helpful resources such as instructions for preventing the spread of COVID-19, the latest statistics on the proliferation of the virus, and local helpline numbers.


The COVID-19 India website  that was launched last week collates all of this updated information, as well as live statistics, into a single, easy-to-access resource. It is available in English, Hindi and Marathi for smartphones, and in English and Hindi via Google Assistant for KaiOS feature phones. It will be rolled out soon in several other Indian languages.




Caption: (Left) The India COVID-19 page, available in Hindi, English, and Marathi, and (Right) on KaiOS in Hindi and English via Google Assistant


Public service campaign: In order to ensure that the safety and prevention best practices are disseminated widely, we have collaborated with the MoHFW to run a public service campaign titled ‘Do the Five’, and prominently surface and promote assets from MoHFW which includes educational video content featuring Amitabh Bachchan, across YouTube, Search and Google Assistant. The campaign has reached hundreds of millions people seeking this information and continues to reach millions more every day. 


Building solutions for crisis response


With the pandemic causing disruption to scores of people, we are working to support those whose livelihoods and access to basic sustenance are at risk -- especially the millions of migrant workers returning to their hometowns, or stranded in the cities without a source of income or food. 


We have started indicating the locations of hundreds of food and night shelters set up by the government across the country, accessible through Google Maps, Search, and Google Assistant. To date, this includes more than 33 cities with over 1,500 food and night shelters identified. Users can query in both English and Hindi, and efforts are on to bring this to other Indian languages over the coming weeks, as well as adding additional shelters in more cities across the country.


The information can also be accessed via Google Assistant on KaiOS in both Hindi and English. Simply ask ‘ में भोजन केंद्र’ and ‘ में रैन बसेरा’, or ‘Food shelters in ’ and ‘Night shelters in ’. Vodafone-Idea subscribers can also use the Phone Line offering that enables 2G feature phone users to get details of nearby food and night shelters by dialing the toll-free number 000 800 9191 000, and using the queries above.
Caption: (Left) Night Shelters and (Right) Night Food Shelters are now available on Google Maps, in English and Hindi

To help public health officials in their decision-making, we have published COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports that capture the percentage change in traffic and movement across public places such as parks, transit stations and grocery stores. These reports are based on the same aggregated, anonymized insights that are used in products such as Google Maps.


Contributing to crisis response and upholding our responsibility

We are committed to supporting governments, local health agencies, and not-for-profit developers offering publicly-available crisis response apps and sites in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have introduced Ads grants, Google Maps Platform Crisis Response credits and are offering our support for the APIs and SDKs that are most commonly used for crisis response implementations.
Caption: Live donations counter for PM-CARES (Left) and Nearby Spot (Right) on Google Pay

With the lockdown and social distancing norms in place, digital payments have become more important than ever and Google Pay is an additional surface to provide key information regarding COVID-19. We’ve launched the COVID-19 Spot on Google Pay that aggregates all pertinent information on the topic, sourced directly from the MoHFW. The Spot also helps users donate to PM-CARES or to NGOs such as SEEDS, Give India, United Way and Charities Aid Foundation, which are working towards procurement of protective equipment for medical workers and relief for lockdown-impacted daily wagers. Donations to PM-CARES on Google Pay have thus far collected over ₹105 crores and continue to grow.

Additionally on Google Pay, Nearby Spot has been introduced to help users see local stores providing essentials like groceries, which are currently open. We think this information will help users to contact the appropriate business, pay digitally and aid social distancing efforts. The Nearby Spot has been rolled out in Bengaluru and will be launching in Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, and Delhi soon.  

COVID-19 puts intense demands on us all, and we’re determined to uphold our responsibility in this unprecedented time: to enable access to trusted information and be ready to stand with India and do all we can to help as we overcome Coronavirus pandemic, and shape a stronger future.

Posted by Sanjay Gupta, Vice President and Country Manager, Google India and Caesar Sengupta, Vice President, Payments and Next Billion Users 

Our commitment to India during COVID-19 and beyond

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the health and lives of many across the country, requiring all of us to make fundamental changes to the way we live. State and public health officials across the country are doing their best to manage this unprecedented situation. At the same time, we have been inspired by how the country has come together to support the valiant efforts of healthcare workers, with businesses stepping up to provide vital resources and support, and NGOs rallying to support vulnerable communities whose livelihoods are impacted. 


Overcoming a crisis of this scale will take sustained and concerted effort, and we want to do everything we can to help. Since the virus first began to spread, our focus at Google has been on making sure people have the information and tools they need to stay informed and connected. But we know there’s much more work ahead. 


Today, we’re sharing an update on the actions that Google has taken in India to help bring authoritative and reliable information to people, and provide features across its products that can be helpful during these trying times.


Promoting authoritative and reliable information sources 

It is crucial that people have access to health information they can trust online, so they can make the right decisions to protect themselves, and those around them, from COVID-19.  We have upped our work to curb misinformation across various platforms and prominently surface the latest updates and health advice from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and international health authorities across Search, Maps, YouTube and the COVID-19 Spot on Google Pay.

Caption: (Left) On Search, queries for Coronavirus now display consolidated results, with tabs for quick access to information on symptoms, prevention, and more 

On Search, when a person launches a query for Coronavirus they will see a page with consolidated information including the top news stories, links to MoHFW resources, as well as access to authoritative content on symptoms, prevention, treatments and more. In line with government directives, when people search for medical facilities like hospitals, doctors or testing centers, we surface authoritative guidelines from the MoHFW on reaching out to central and state COVID-19 helplines that are equipped to assist with next steps.

Across YouTube’s homepage, search, and recommendation systems, we are elevating authoritative information sources such as the MoHFW and WHO, driving users directly to these websites for trustworthy and reliable information.  YouTube has also launched a Coronavirus News Shelf on the YouTube Homepage, which provides the latest news from authoritative media outlets regarding the outbreak. 


All searches and videos on YouTube related to COVID-19 trigger Information and health panels that provide additional information on the topic, linking to the MoHFW website and the global WHO website. 


                 
Caption: Information Panel (Left) and Health Panel (Right) on YouTube


In addition to elevating authoritative sources, we are also quickly removing reported videos that violate YouTube’s community guidelines, including those that discourage people from seeking medical treatment or encourage the use of unsubstantiated remedies to treat COVID-19.

Bringing helpful features to Google’s product and services

Our product teams continue to build features that enable people to find helpful resources such as instructions for preventing the spread of COVID-19, the latest statistics on the proliferation of the virus, and local helpline numbers.


The COVID-19 India website  that was launched last week collates all of this updated information, as well as live statistics, into a single, easy-to-access resource. It is available in English, Hindi and Marathi for smartphones, and in English and Hindi via Google Assistant for KaiOS feature phones. It will be rolled out soon in several other Indian languages.




Caption: (Left) The India COVID-19 page, available in Hindi, English, and Marathi, and (Right) on KaiOS in Hindi and English via Google Assistant


Public service campaign: In order to ensure that the safety and prevention best practices are disseminated widely, we have collaborated with the MoHFW to run a public service campaign titled ‘Do the Five’, and prominently surface and promote assets from MoHFW which includes educational video content featuring Amitabh Bachchan, across YouTube, Search and Google Assistant. The campaign has reached hundreds of millions people seeking this information and continues to reach millions more every day. 


Building solutions for crisis response


With the pandemic causing disruption to scores of people, we are working to support those whose livelihoods and access to basic sustenance are at risk -- especially the millions of migrant workers returning to their hometowns, or stranded in the cities without a source of income or food. 


We have started indicating the locations of hundreds of food and night shelters set up by the government across the country, accessible through Google Maps, Search, and Google Assistant. To date, this includes more than 33 cities with over 1,500 food and night shelters identified. Users can query in both English and Hindi, and efforts are on to bring this to other Indian languages over the coming weeks, as well as adding additional shelters in more cities across the country.


The information can also be accessed via Google Assistant on KaiOS in both Hindi and English. Simply ask ‘ में भोजन केंद्र’ and ‘ में रैन बसेरा’, or ‘Food shelters in ’ and ‘Night shelters in ’. Vodafone-Idea subscribers can also use the Phone Line offering that enables 2G feature phone users to get details of nearby food and night shelters by dialing the toll-free number 000 800 9191 000, and using the queries above.
Caption: (Left) Night Shelters and (Right) Night Food Shelters are now available on Google Maps, in English and Hindi

To help public health officials in their decision-making, we have published COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports that capture the percentage change in traffic and movement across public places such as parks, transit stations and grocery stores. These reports are based on the same aggregated, anonymized insights that are used in products such as Google Maps.


Contributing to crisis response and upholding our responsibility

We are committed to supporting governments, local health agencies, and not-for-profit developers offering publicly-available crisis response apps and sites in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have introduced Ads grants, Google Maps Platform Crisis Response credits and are offering our support for the APIs and SDKs that are most commonly used for crisis response implementations.
Caption: Live donations counter for PM-CARES (Left) and Nearby Spot (Right) on Google Pay

With the lockdown and social distancing norms in place, digital payments have become more important than ever and Google Pay is an additional surface to provide key information regarding COVID-19. We’ve launched the COVID-19 Spot on Google Pay that aggregates all pertinent information on the topic, sourced directly from the MoHFW. The Spot also helps users donate to PM-CARES or to NGOs such as SEEDS, Give India, United Way and Charities Aid Foundation, which are working towards procurement of protective equipment for medical workers and relief for lockdown-impacted daily wagers. Donations to PM-CARES on Google Pay have thus far collected over ₹105 crores and continue to grow.

Additionally on Google Pay, Nearby Spot has been introduced to help users see local stores providing essentials like groceries, which are currently open. We think this information will help users to contact the appropriate business, pay digitally and aid social distancing efforts. The Nearby Spot has been rolled out in Bengaluru and will be launching in Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, and Delhi soon.  

COVID-19 puts intense demands on us all, and we’re determined to uphold our responsibility in this unprecedented time: to enable access to trusted information and be ready to stand with India and do all we can to help as we overcome Coronavirus pandemic, and shape a stronger future.

Posted by Sanjay Gupta, Vice President and Country Manager, Google India and Caesar Sengupta, Vice President, Payments and Next Billion Users 

Our commitment to India during COVID-19 and beyond

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the health and lives of many across the country, requiring all of us to make fundamental changes to the way we live. State and public health officials across the country are doing their best to manage this unprecedented situation. At the same time, we have been inspired by how the country has come together to support the valiant efforts of healthcare workers, with businesses stepping up to provide vital resources and support, and NGOs rallying to support vulnerable communities whose livelihoods are impacted. 


Overcoming a crisis of this scale will take sustained and concerted effort, and we want to do everything we can to help. Since the virus first began to spread, our focus at Google has been on making sure people have the information and tools they need to stay informed and connected. But we know there’s much more work ahead. 


Today, we’re sharing an update on the actions that Google has taken in India to help bring authoritative and reliable information to people, and provide features across its products that can be helpful during these trying times.


Promoting authoritative and reliable information sources 

It is crucial that people have access to health information they can trust online, so they can make the right decisions to protect themselves, and those around them, from COVID-19.  We have upped our work to curb misinformation across various platforms and prominently surface the latest updates and health advice from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and international health authorities across Search, Maps, YouTube and the COVID-19 Spot on Google Pay.

Caption: (Left) On Search, queries for Coronavirus now display consolidated results, with tabs for quick access to information on symptoms, prevention, and more 

On Search, when a person launches a query for Coronavirus they will see a page with consolidated information including the top news stories, links to MoHFW resources, as well as access to authoritative content on symptoms, prevention, treatments and more. In line with government directives, when people search for medical facilities like hospitals, doctors or testing centers, we surface authoritative guidelines from the MoHFW on reaching out to central and state COVID-19 helplines that are equipped to assist with next steps.

Across YouTube’s homepage, search, and recommendation systems, we are elevating authoritative information sources such as the MoHFW and WHO, driving users directly to these websites for trustworthy and reliable information.  YouTube has also launched a Coronavirus News Shelf on the YouTube Homepage, which provides the latest news from authoritative media outlets regarding the outbreak. 


All searches and videos on YouTube related to COVID-19 trigger Information and health panels that provide additional information on the topic, linking to the MoHFW website and the global WHO website. 


                 
Caption: Information Panel (Left) and Health Panel (Right) on YouTube


In addition to elevating authoritative sources, we are also quickly removing reported videos that violate YouTube’s community guidelines, including those that discourage people from seeking medical treatment or encourage the use of unsubstantiated remedies to treat COVID-19.

Bringing helpful features to Google’s product and services

Our product teams continue to build features that enable people to find helpful resources such as instructions for preventing the spread of COVID-19, the latest statistics on the proliferation of the virus, and local helpline numbers.


The COVID-19 India website  that was launched last week collates all of this updated information, as well as live statistics, into a single, easy-to-access resource. It is available in English, Hindi and Marathi for smartphones, and in English and Hindi via Google Assistant for KaiOS feature phones. It will be rolled out soon in several other Indian languages.




Caption: (Left) The India COVID-19 page, available in Hindi, English, and Marathi, and (Right) on KaiOS in Hindi and English via Google Assistant


Public service campaign: In order to ensure that the safety and prevention best practices are disseminated widely, we have collaborated with the MoHFW to run a public service campaign titled ‘Do the Five’, and prominently surface and promote assets from MoHFW which includes educational video content featuring Amitabh Bachchan, across YouTube, Search and Google Assistant. The campaign has reached hundreds of millions people seeking this information and continues to reach millions more every day. 


Building solutions for crisis response


With the pandemic causing disruption to scores of people, we are working to support those whose livelihoods and access to basic sustenance are at risk -- especially the millions of migrant workers returning to their hometowns, or stranded in the cities without a source of income or food. 


We have started indicating the locations of hundreds of food and night shelters set up by the government across the country, accessible through Google Maps, Search, and Google Assistant. To date, this includes more than 33 cities with over 1,500 food and night shelters identified. Users can query in both English and Hindi, and efforts are on to bring this to other Indian languages over the coming weeks, as well as adding additional shelters in more cities across the country.


The information can also be accessed via Google Assistant on KaiOS in both Hindi and English. Simply ask ‘ में भोजन केंद्र’ and ‘ में रैन बसेरा’, or ‘Food shelters in ’ and ‘Night shelters in ’. Vodafone-Idea subscribers can also use the Phone Line offering that enables 2G feature phone users to get details of nearby food and night shelters by dialing the toll-free number 000 800 9191 000, and using the queries above.
Caption: (Left) Night Shelters and (Right) Night Food Shelters are now available on Google Maps, in English and Hindi

To help public health officials in their decision-making, we have published COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports that capture the percentage change in traffic and movement across public places such as parks, transit stations and grocery stores. These reports are based on the same aggregated, anonymized insights that are used in products such as Google Maps.


Contributing to crisis response and upholding our responsibility

We are committed to supporting governments, local health agencies, and not-for-profit developers offering publicly-available crisis response apps and sites in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have introduced Ads grants, Google Maps Platform Crisis Response credits and are offering our support for the APIs and SDKs that are most commonly used for crisis response implementations.
Caption: Live donations counter for PM-CARES (Left) and Nearby Spot (Right) on Google Pay

With the lockdown and social distancing norms in place, digital payments have become more important than ever and Google Pay is an additional surface to provide key information regarding COVID-19. We’ve launched the COVID-19 Spot on Google Pay that aggregates all pertinent information on the topic, sourced directly from the MoHFW. The Spot also helps users donate to PM-CARES or to NGOs such as SEEDS, Give India, United Way and Charities Aid Foundation, which are working towards procurement of protective equipment for medical workers and relief for lockdown-impacted daily wagers. Donations to PM-CARES on Google Pay have thus far collected over ₹105 crores and continue to grow.

Additionally on Google Pay, Nearby Spot has been introduced to help users see local stores providing essentials like groceries, which are currently open. We think this information will help users to contact the appropriate business, pay digitally and aid social distancing efforts. The Nearby Spot has been rolled out in Bengaluru and will be launching in Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, and Delhi soon.  

COVID-19 puts intense demands on us all, and we’re determined to uphold our responsibility in this unprecedented time: to enable access to trusted information and be ready to stand with India and do all we can to help as we overcome Coronavirus pandemic, and shape a stronger future.

Posted by Sanjay Gupta, Vice President and Country Manager, Google India and Caesar Sengupta, Vice President, Payments and Next Billion Users 

Charting the next 15 years of Google Maps



It’s easy to take for granted how much information about the world is now available at our fingertips. But it wasn’t long ago that traveling to a new place meant fumbling through sheets of turn-by-turn instructions while trying to keep one hand on the steering wheel, with no way to anticipate how bad traffic would be or find a restaurant along the way. It was around that time, 15 years ago, that Google Maps set out on an audacious goal to map the world. 


I remember seeing early versions of Google Maps and being amazed at how easily you could scroll, zoom and search the world. One of my earliest memories of working on Google Maps was as a member of our user experience team, which designs and improves the usability of our products. In a world before smartphones, one of the biggest questions that we agonized over was where to put the Print button on the page so that people could easily take their directions on the go. 


Needless to say, a lot has changed. Google Maps has mapped more than 220 countries, surfaced information for about 200 million places and businesses, and helped billions of people get from point A to point B with confidence. In the beginning, we focused on answering the question: “How do I get from here to there?” Over time, our mission has expanded from helping you navigate to also helping you discover the best places to go and things to do once you’re there. As we celebrate our birthday this week, we’re reflecting on how the definition of what a map can do has broadened, and how machine learning will propel us forward from here. 


Navigating the world: From simple directions to Live View 


Fifteen years ago, printing out directions was considered state-of-the-art. So the idea of getting turn-by-turn driving navigation from your phone while on the road seemed revolutionary. In 2009, Google Maps pioneered turn-by-turn mobile navigation, and we’ve since added directions and navigation for walking, transit, bicycles, two-wheelers, and more--all with the goal of helping you with every trip across every mode of transportation. Since people increasingly use a mix of transportation options in a single trip--like walking to the train station and then taking a rideshare to their final stop--one of our next challenges involves stitching together these navigation options and ETAs for a more seamless experience.


Directions alone aren’t enough. We’re also helping you get there faster and more comfortably by arming you with relevant real-time information like live traffic alerts, predictions for how crowded your bus will be and which bike-sharing locations have available bikes. And we’ve used technology like augmented reality (AR) to help bring the map to life in helpful ways. Last year we introduced Live View, which uses AR, AI and your smartphone camera to show you your surroundings with the directions overlaid. It solves the real pain point of walking halfway down the block toward a place only to realize you’re going the wrong way (I’ve definitely been there!).


Exploring the world once you get there


We’ve always fundamentally believed that a map is much more than masses of land and sea, that a city is more than a web of streets. After all, the things that make my hometown shine are the brunch spot with my favorite veggie scramble, the pet salon that keeps my dog happy while he gets a trim, and the pizza spot with the foosball table that keeps my kids entertained while we wait. A truly helpful map reflects all of those local insights and helps you find places and experiences that are right for you—so that’s been a big focus for us over the last few years. 


Until recently, if you were looking to grab a slice of pizza, you’d get a list of 20 nearby pizza joints. (And way before that, you’d have to search in advance on a desktop to get the list, or if you were already out of the house you had to roam streets seeking the smell of melted cheese!) Now, we can help you find all of the pizza spots nearby, when they're open, how crowded they’ll be, and which one has the best toppings. Once you’ve decided where to go, you can easily make a reservation or call the restaurant. 


Doing this well at scale requires a deep understanding of businesses and places—which is where our active community of users comes in. Every day, people contribute more than 20 million pieces of content to Google, like photos, reviews and ratings. These contributions continually make our map richer and more helpful for everyone. They also power features like popular dishes at restaurants, up-to-date road closures and wheelchair accessible routes. We’re also making it easy for you to get things done at these places within Google Maps—so you can go from finding a yoga studio to booking a class. 


The technology propelling the future of Maps


The world is always changing—new roads are added, bus routes are changed and natural disasters alter accessible routes. That’s why a map needs to be updated, comprehensive and accurate. Major breakthroughs in AI have transformed our approach to mapmaking, helping us bring high-quality maps and local information to more parts of the world faster. 


For instance, we worked with our data operations team to manually trace common building outlines, then trained our machine learning models to recognize building edges and shapes. Thanks to this technique, we’ve mapped as many buildings in the last year as we did in the previous 10. Elsewhere, machine learning helps us recognize handwritten building numbers that would be hard even for a passerby in a car to see. This is especially important when mapping areas where formal street signs and house numbers are uncommon. In Lagos, Nigeria alone, machine learning has helped us add 20,000 street names, 50,000 addresses, and 100,000 new businesses—lighting up the map with local places and businesses where there once was little detailed information. 


The map of the next 15 years 


As we celebrate our birthday and look ahead to the next 15 years, we’re rolling out a few new updates, including a refreshed look for the app and more information about your transit rides. And we’ve updated our Google Maps icon to reflect our journey.


When we set out to map the world, we knew it would be a challenge. But 15 years in, I’m still in awe of what a gargantuan task it is. It requires building and curating an understanding of everything there is to know about the physical world, and then bringing that information to people in a way that helps you navigate, explore and get things done in your world. The real world is infinitely detailed and always changing, so our work of reflecting it back to you is never done. 

Posted by Jen Fitzpatrick, Senior Vice President, Google Maps

Google Maps is turning 15! Celebrate with a new look and features



In 2005, we set out to map the world. Since then we’ve pushed the limits of what a map can do: from helping you easily navigate from point A to B, to helping you explore and get things done in the world. With more than 1 billion people turning to Google Maps to see and explore the world, we're celebrating our 15th birthday with a new look and product updates based on feedback from you.


A fresh look from the inside out
Starting today, you'll see an updated Google Maps app for Android and iOS that gives you everything you need at your fingertips with five easy-to-access tabs: Explore, Commute, Saved, Contribute and Updates.
  • Explore: Looking for a place nearby to grab lunch, enjoy live music or play arcade games? In the Explore tab, you’ll find information, ratings, reviews and more for about 200 million places around the world, including local restaurants, nearby attractions and city landmarks. 
  • Commute: Whether you’re traveling by car or public transit, the Commute tab is there to make sure you’re on the most efficient route. Set up your daily commute to get real-time traffic updates, travel times and suggestions for alternative routes.
  • Saved: People have saved more than 6.5 billion places on Google Maps—from the new bakery across town to the famous restaurant on your upcoming vacation. Now you can view all of these spots in one convenient place, as well as find and organize plans for an upcoming trip and share recommendations based on places you've been.
  • Contribute: Hundreds of millions of people each year contribute information that helps keep Google Maps up to date. With the new Contribute tab, you can easily share local knowledge, such as details about roads and addresses, missing places, business reviews and photos. Each contribution goes a long way in helping others learn about new places and decide what to do.
  • Updates: The new Updates tab provides you with a feed of trending, must-see spots from local experts and publishers, like The Infatuation. In addition to discovering, saving and sharing recommendations with your network, you can also directly chat with businesses to get questions answered.


Our five tabs provide easier access to everything you need in Google Maps.


We’re also updating our look with a new Google Maps icon that reflects the evolution we’ve made mapping the world. It’s based on a key part of Google Maps since the very beginning—the pin— and represents the shift we’ve made from getting you to your destination to also helping you discover new places and experiences.


And because we can’t resist a good birthday celebration, keep an eye out for our celebratory party-themed car icon, available for a limited time when you navigate with Google Maps.

Look out for our new icon on your phone and browser.


Made for you, on the go
We’re constantly evolving to help you get around—no matter how you choose to travel. Our new transit features in the Google Maps app help you stay informed when you’re taking public transportation.


Last year, we introduced crowdedness predictions to help you see how crowded your bus, train or subway is likely to be based on past rides. To help you plan your travels, we’re adding new insights about your route from past riders, so you’ll be able to see important details, such as: 
  • Temperature: For a more comfortable ride, check in advance if the temperature is considered by past riders as on the colder or warmer side.
  • Accessibility: If you have special needs or require additional support, you can identify public transit lines with staffed assistance, accessible entrance and seating, accessible stop-button or hi-visible LED.
  • Women’s Section: In regions where transit systems have designated women's sections or carriages, we'll help surface this information along with whether other passengers abide by it.
  • Security Onboard: Feel safer knowing if security monitoring is on board—whether that’s with a security guard present, installed security cameras or an available helpline.
  • Number of carriages available: In Japan only, you can pick a route based on the number of carriages so that it increases your chances of getting a seat.


    These useful bits of information come from past riders who've shared their experiences and will appear alongside public transit routes when available. To help future riders, you can answer a short survey within Google Maps about your experience on recent trips. We’ll start rolling this out globally in March, with availability varying by region and municipal transportation agency.

    New trip attributes help you make informed decisions about your travel plans.


    A sense of direction
    Last year, we introduced Live View to help you quickly decide which way to go when you start a walking route with Google Maps. By combining Street View’s real-world imagery, machine learning and smartphone sensors, Live View in Google Maps shows you your surroundings with the directions overlaid in augmented reality. 


    Over the coming months, we’ll be expanding Live View and testing new capabilities, starting with better assistance whenever you’re searching for a place. You’ll be able to quickly see how far away and in which direction a place is.


    Live View will soon help you get oriented in the right direction in new ways.


    A big thank you to everyone for placing your trust in us and for being with us on this wild ride over the last 15 years. See you out there on the journey!

    Posted by Dane Glasgow, Vice President of Product, Google Maps

    Announcing the Google Maps Platform YouTube Channel!

    Posted by Samirah Javed, Social Partnership Manager and Alex Muramoto, Developer Advocate

    The time has come!

    We’re excited to announce the official launch of the Google Maps Platform YouTube channel, a place for developers to learn and immerse themselves in the possibilities with maps.





    We already have some great content on the channel about how to get started, incredible user stories, and the return of our Geocasts series coming soon - a series dedicated to providing walkthroughs and tips to help you learn how to implement Google Maps Platform features in your web and mobile apps.

    Subscribe here → @GoogleMapsPlatformGoogle Maps Platform bannerSee you there!

    Adding 57,000 public toilets to Google Maps across India

    https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/G06WQYQ_kzWfqKM0miZ0t6D9c8SMEg0Xdxg9LdSLYN-5sGumg6NLxHoQJNVq3ZUWrBHOvRNyI_E0ot1vhC2aBQULF1XVpJXDCbEitG7mLOs9GGYa4eJWoDWR_O6Z4tx4vyFfOWHa
    In 2016, in collaboration with the Swachh Bharat Mission, Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs, we embarked on a campaign to help users across India to locate public toilets within Google Maps. We launched this as a pilot in three cities: New Delhi, Bhopal, and Indore. After almost three years, this effort now encompasses over 57,000 public toilets in 2,300+ cities across the nation.




    With Google Maps, our aim has always been to help people as they navigate and explore the world, wherever they are. And we believe that making information about public sanitation facilities easily accessible to people is a key element for social good -- one that also constitutes the cornerstone of the government's Swachh Bharat campaign to promote clean habits and hygiene.


    We have a long history of making Google Maps more relevant, accurate, and reliable for Indian users with India-first solutions such as two-wheeler mode and offline Maps. For this campaign, our product and engineering teams together built a new process seamlessly integrate toilet listings into Google Maps. We have worked closely with the Ministry to update Maps with key information about public toilets from across India, while refining our systems to accurately surface these toilets through a variety of user queries -- over 2.5 lakh users now search for public toilets every month across Search and Maps.


    Today, all you need is to search for ‘public toilets near me’ on Google Search, the Google Assistant or Google Maps and receive results at your fingertips. 


    In addition, through Google My Business, we helped the Ministry take ownership of these listings on Google Maps so they could monitor visits, ratings, reviews and more, thereby gaining valuable insights that could help them take necessary action to maintain and upgrade toilets. 


    Google Maps Local Guides are also continuing to feedback on toilets in their locality, late last year we ran a campaign to spur awareness and adoption that resulted in 32,000 reviews, photos and edits being added to public toilets across India.


    We have been humbled to be a part of this campaign, and remain committed to finding ways to make Google Maps even more useful and relevant to users across India. 


    Posted by Anal Ghosh, Sr. Program Manager, Google Maps