Android users can now navigate Ghana with Google maps
Users of android devices in Ghana can now move or drive about freely and easily to locations following Google’s introduction and upgrade of maps application in the country, which now has voice prompt upgrade.
Google Ghana introduced Google Maps Navigation recently to enable owners of android devices such as smart phones and iphones have comprehensive, accurate and easy-to-go maps with built in local search, voice guided turn-by-turn navigation to all kinds of places.
Mrs Estelle Akofio-Sowah, Country Manager, Google Ghana said on Wednesday that for a while now users of Google Maps in Ghana had been able to get direction whether sitting in their cars or whether walking in Ghana but receiving the information in text form while driving or walking using their phones.
But she said: “Now what we have done now is to improve the safety of that, because you will not be driving and using your phone at the same time anymore. You now have a voice that tells you in five meters take a right turn and if you miss that turning it will redirect you. It is now giving you a voice prompt turn-by-turn navigation to get to your destinations”.
She said this during an experiential session with the media, IT experts, representatives from the Fidelity Bank and the Ghana Tourism Authority; and students from the Valley View University and Ghana Telecom University, who shared their experiences on the use of Google Maps.
Mrs Akofio-Sowah said in terms of content, Google Ghana had improved tremendously in enriching the information on maps with the support of users. In Ghana, she said, the maps project started four years ago and that it was important for people to get more and more interested to make life easy for them.
“There is pretty much information on every street name in Ghana that is known now on Google Maps. The efforts we driving now is really to showcase that people can use Google Maps to tell the world where they are. It is really simple,” she added.
Jacqueline Rajuai, Programme Manager, Google Maps, underscored the need to ensure constant updating of information on the maps with the changing times in order to keep them fresh always for users.
“Maps are now simple to use and easy to understand by every single person… Maps bring data to life,” she said and noted that last year in 2012 globally about one billion Google Maps applications were downloaded. Again, Rajuai said, Over 800,000 websites last year had Google Maps embedded in them.
The Greater Accra Regional Minister Julius Debrah expressed happiness with the development and introduction of Google Maps Navigation in Ghana and noted that hitherto people carried all kinds of devices with navigation and vehicles with navigation screens yet they were not functional and did not have an idea what benefit they were.
But, he added, today with the effort of Google Ghana, we have solutions to almost all our needs just on a mobile device.
Users of Google Maps can now discover great places in Ghana to eat, drink, shop and play. They can search to find addresses, places and businesses around the country and get voice guided, turn-by-turn driving directions, and find their ways by train, bus, subway or walking directions.
Though I have not tried this “turn-by-turn driving directions” yet (maybe when I’m out today) I certainly know that there is no subway in Ghana. And how on earth do you find your way by train when there is only one working locomotive that goes between Accra Central and Nsawam, which only works like one week in any month. Anyway, Google, I think your efforts deserve commendation!