The internationally composed Google Japan unit is always looking for the latest trends and advances in technology. Recently, five techies on the team — a Greek, a Thai, a Mexican, and 2 Japanese — have put their focus towards improving the Local Guides program which was launched in 2015.
The program allows users to not only upload images, but to add their own tips and reviews and other information about tourist spots, hot spots and even off the beaten path destinations.
The Japanese unit was chosen by the company to work on improving the Local Guides program because Japanese people have a passion for maps and desire for details greatly due to the fact that Japan’s addressing system is very complicated and often does not include the necessary details — such as indicating a street name for a location — which is another reason why the team has tackled improving the Maps app by involving more user interaction.
“…We are also working to create a technological platform to get local people involved in the development of maps about their communities,” product manager Nobuhiro Makita said to asia.nikkei.com.
By getting locals involved in the Maps app, the unit hopes that it will be more appealing to users and the team is incorporating the features and improvements that they are applying to the Japanese market to other country’s maps, as well as making the features available in several different languages.