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Google Maps India gets ‘Landmarks in driving directions!’ – Google Internet Bus in God’s Own Country

Google made improvement to Google Maps India that describes routes in terms of easy-to-follow landmarks and businesses that’re visible along the way. In India, people tend to prefer landmarks over road names; could be as simple as “coffee shop past the third traffic signal” or a “petrol pump just past the Gateway of India”. “This effort was possible thanks to large amount of landmark data contributed through Google Map Maker. Our new algorithm determines from available signals, which of these landmarks’re most useful for navigation, based on importance and closeness to turns that you’re making. We now combine landmark data, counted turns (“the 2nd right”), intersection names, and road names, and try to use whatever information is most relevant and useful for the direction you’re heading in,” Google India blog. Following screenshot helps you compare “before and after results” for directions from IIM Bangalore to Bangalore City Railway Station:

Over the last 10 months, Google Internet Bus has traveled to 60 towns across 4 states, in India, and is now in ‘God’s Own Country’ Kerala. “Over 20 days we’ll focus on four themes – education, information, communication and entertainment, in two languages – English and Malayalam. What’s more, our Google Map maker team will also be joining us to help people map their own cities in Kerala.” You can see pictures & videos, and join online communities, or visit Google India.

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