Special delivery with Google Maps APIs

Customers care about convenience and expect fast responses, so a company’s ability to provide “last mile delivery”—quick, on-demand delivery service—can make or break its relationship with a customer. Asia-Pacific companies that rely on last-mile service are tapping into the cloud’s ability to amass and analyze data–specifically, using Google Maps to route drivers to the fastest path to a customer’s front door.

As customers demand even faster delivery—of everything from parcels to a hot dinner, the last mile of delivery is where customer relationships are strengthened—or weakened. Customers who request deliveries are doing so because convenience is important to them. Consumers expect faster deliveries at more convenient times, according to Accenture’s recent last-mile retail study. Asia-Pacific companies that rely on last-mile service are tapping into the cloud’s ability to amass and analyze data–specifically, using Google Maps to route drivers to the fastest path to a customer’s front door.

Committing to delivery windows

Swiggy, a local food delivery service based in India, delivers meals from restaurants in major cities like Bangalore and Delhi within a 40-minute delivery window. To make sure drivers can meet this commitment, Swiggy uses the Google Maps Distance Matrix API and Google Maps Places API to find and display only those restaurants that are within four to five kilometers of the customer. Once the customer places an order from one of the local restaurants, Swiggy uses the Google Maps Directions API to help drivers find directions to restaurants and customers.

special-delivery-1

Business is booming for Swiggy as a result of leveraging location data and the cloud to meet its delivery time commitment. Business has grown 25 percent per month, and nearly 80 percent of orders come from repeat customers.

Providing online estimates for delivery times

Bigbasket, India’s largest online food and grocery store, relies on mapping data too, but allows customers to choose a time window for delivery. For those who need their deliveries pronto, the company also offers an express service that delivers orders within 90 minutes.

When customers place orders on Bigbasket’s mobile app, they set their location on a Google map. The location determines the menu of products they are shown, as well as prices. Bigbasket used the Google Maps Javascript API to build a web-based app for the company’s backend that tracks all orders and delivery progress. Dispatchers use the Google Maps Directions API to match drivers with orders and customers, and the Google Distance Matrix API to estimate the time of arrival for deliveries.  The delivery recipe is working: Bigbasket has grown to four million customers, with more than one million orders every month.

Improving driver productivity and efficiency

For honestbee, an online concierge and delivery service based in Singapore, the last-mile goal was to improve driver and dispatcher efficiency. Using Google Maps, honestbee created a web-based map that shows the locations of drivers and their pickup and dropoff destinations.

The company uses the Google Distance Matrix API to build a batching engine, which automates dispatching drivers, and optimizes pickup and dropoff points. In instances where deliveries are too complex to be automatically handled by the batching engine, dispatchers match drivers with customers using a web-based map built with the Google Maps Javascript API.

special-delivery-2

Timely and speedy delivery plays a key role in customer satisfaction in today’s on-demand world. With accurate cloud-based mapping resources, merchants are finding ways to shave off precious minutes from last-mile delivery routes so customers keep coming back.

Special delivery with Google Maps APIs

Customers care about convenience and expect fast responses, so a company’s ability to provide “last mile delivery”—quick, on-demand delivery service—can make or break its relationship with a customer. Asia-Pacific companies that rely on last-mile service are tapping into the cloud’s ability to amass and analyze data–specifically, using Google Maps to route drivers to the fastest path to a customer’s front door.

As customers demand even faster delivery—of everything from parcels to a hot dinner, the last mile of delivery is where customer relationships are strengthened—or weakened. Customers who request deliveries are doing so because convenience is important to them. Consumers expect faster deliveries at more convenient times, according to Accenture’s recent last-mile retail study. Asia-Pacific companies that rely on last-mile service are tapping into the cloud’s ability to amass and analyze data–specifically, using Google Maps to route drivers to the fastest path to a customer’s front door.

Committing to delivery windows

Swiggy, a local food delivery service based in India, delivers meals from restaurants in major cities like Bangalore and Delhi within a 40-minute delivery window. To make sure drivers can meet this commitment, Swiggy uses the Google Maps Distance Matrix API and Google Maps Places API to find and display only those restaurants that are within four to five kilometers of the customer. Once the customer places an order from one of the local restaurants, Swiggy uses the Google Maps Directions API to help drivers find directions to restaurants and customers.

special-delivery-1

Business is booming for Swiggy as a result of leveraging location data and the cloud to meet its delivery time commitment. Business has grown 25 percent per month, and nearly 80 percent of orders come from repeat customers.

Providing online estimates for delivery times

Bigbasket, India’s largest online food and grocery store, relies on mapping data too, but allows customers to choose a time window for delivery. For those who need their deliveries pronto, the company also offers an express service that delivers orders within 90 minutes.

When customers place orders on Bigbasket’s mobile app, they set their location on a Google map. The location determines the menu of products they are shown, as well as prices. Bigbasket used the Google Maps Javascript API to build a web-based app for the company’s backend that tracks all orders and delivery progress. Dispatchers use the Google Maps Directions API to match drivers with orders and customers, and the Google Distance Matrix API to estimate the time of arrival for deliveries.  The delivery recipe is working: Bigbasket has grown to four million customers, with more than one million orders every month.

Improving driver productivity and efficiency

For honestbee, an online concierge and delivery service based in Singapore, the last-mile goal was to improve driver and dispatcher efficiency. Using Google Maps, honestbee created a web-based map that shows the locations of drivers and their pickup and dropoff destinations.

The company uses the Google Distance Matrix API to build a batching engine, which automates dispatching drivers, and optimizes pickup and dropoff points. In instances where deliveries are too complex to be automatically handled by the batching engine, dispatchers match drivers with customers using a web-based map built with the Google Maps Javascript API.

special-delivery-2

Timely and speedy delivery plays a key role in customer satisfaction in today’s on-demand world. With accurate cloud-based mapping resources, merchants are finding ways to shave off precious minutes from last-mile delivery routes so customers keep coming back.

Special delivery with Google Maps APIs

Customers care about convenience and expect fast responses, so a company’s ability to provide “last mile delivery”—quick, on-demand delivery service—can make or break its relationship with a customer. Asia-Pacific companies that rely on last-mile service are tapping into the cloud’s ability to amass and analyze data–specifically, using Google Maps to route drivers to the fastest path to a customer’s front door.

As customers demand even faster delivery—of everything from parcels to a hot dinner, the last mile of delivery is where customer relationships are strengthened—or weakened. Customers who request deliveries are doing so because convenience is important to them. Consumers expect faster deliveries at more convenient times, according to Accenture’s recent last-mile retail study. Asia-Pacific companies that rely on last-mile service are tapping into the cloud’s ability to amass and analyze data–specifically, using Google Maps to route drivers to the fastest path to a customer’s front door.

Committing to delivery windows

Swiggy, a local food delivery service based in India, delivers meals from restaurants in major cities like Bangalore and Delhi within a 40-minute delivery window. To make sure drivers can meet this commitment, Swiggy uses the Google Maps Distance Matrix API and Google Maps Places API to find and display only those restaurants that are within four to five kilometers of the customer. Once the customer places an order from one of the local restaurants, Swiggy uses the Google Maps Directions API to help drivers find directions to restaurants and customers.

special-delivery-1

Business is booming for Swiggy as a result of leveraging location data and the cloud to meet its delivery time commitment. Business has grown 25 percent per month, and nearly 80 percent of orders come from repeat customers.

Providing online estimates for delivery times

Bigbasket, India’s largest online food and grocery store, relies on mapping data too, but allows customers to choose a time window for delivery. For those who need their deliveries pronto, the company also offers an express service that delivers orders within 90 minutes.

When customers place orders on Bigbasket’s mobile app, they set their location on a Google map. The location determines the menu of products they are shown, as well as prices. Bigbasket used the Google Maps Javascript API to build a web-based app for the company’s backend that tracks all orders and delivery progress. Dispatchers use the Google Maps Directions API to match drivers with orders and customers, and the Google Distance Matrix API to estimate the time of arrival for deliveries.  The delivery recipe is working: Bigbasket has grown to four million customers, with more than one million orders every month.

Improving driver productivity and efficiency

For honestbee, an online concierge and delivery service based in Singapore, the last-mile goal was to improve driver and dispatcher efficiency. Using Google Maps, honestbee created a web-based map that shows the locations of drivers and their pickup and dropoff destinations.

The company uses the Google Distance Matrix API to build a batching engine, which automates dispatching drivers, and optimizes pickup and dropoff points. In instances where deliveries are too complex to be automatically handled by the batching engine, dispatchers match drivers with customers using a web-based map built with the Google Maps Javascript API.

special-delivery-2

Timely and speedy delivery plays a key role in customer satisfaction in today’s on-demand world. With accurate cloud-based mapping resources, merchants are finding ways to shave off precious minutes from last-mile delivery routes so customers keep coming back.

Special delivery with Google Maps APIs

Customers care about convenience and expect fast responses, so a company’s ability to provide “last mile delivery”—quick, on-demand delivery service—can make or break its relationship with a customer. Asia-Pacific companies that rely on last-mile service are tapping into the cloud’s ability to amass and analyze data–specifically, using Google Maps to route drivers to the fastest path to a customer’s front door.

As customers demand even faster delivery—of everything from parcels to a hot dinner, the last mile of delivery is where customer relationships are strengthened—or weakened. Customers who request deliveries are doing so because convenience is important to them. Consumers expect faster deliveries at more convenient times, according to Accenture’s recent last-mile retail study. Asia-Pacific companies that rely on last-mile service are tapping into the cloud’s ability to amass and analyze data–specifically, using Google Maps to route drivers to the fastest path to a customer’s front door.

Committing to delivery windows

Swiggy, a local food delivery service based in India, delivers meals from restaurants in major cities like Bangalore and Delhi within a 40-minute delivery window. To make sure drivers can meet this commitment, Swiggy uses the Google Maps Distance Matrix API and Google Maps Places API to find and display only those restaurants that are within four to five kilometers of the customer. Once the customer places an order from one of the local restaurants, Swiggy uses the Google Maps Directions API to help drivers find directions to restaurants and customers.

special-delivery-1

Business is booming for Swiggy as a result of leveraging location data and the cloud to meet its delivery time commitment. Business has grown 25 percent per month, and nearly 80 percent of orders come from repeat customers.

Providing online estimates for delivery times

Bigbasket, India’s largest online food and grocery store, relies on mapping data too, but allows customers to choose a time window for delivery. For those who need their deliveries pronto, the company also offers an express service that delivers orders within 90 minutes.

When customers place orders on Bigbasket’s mobile app, they set their location on a Google map. The location determines the menu of products they are shown, as well as prices. Bigbasket used the Google Maps Javascript API to build a web-based app for the company’s backend that tracks all orders and delivery progress. Dispatchers use the Google Maps Directions API to match drivers with orders and customers, and the Google Distance Matrix API to estimate the time of arrival for deliveries.  The delivery recipe is working: Bigbasket has grown to four million customers, with more than one million orders every month.

Improving driver productivity and efficiency

For honestbee, an online concierge and delivery service based in Singapore, the last-mile goal was to improve driver and dispatcher efficiency. Using Google Maps, honestbee created a web-based map that shows the locations of drivers and their pickup and dropoff destinations.

The company uses the Google Distance Matrix API to build a batching engine, which automates dispatching drivers, and optimizes pickup and dropoff points. In instances where deliveries are too complex to be automatically handled by the batching engine, dispatchers match drivers with customers using a web-based map built with the Google Maps Javascript API.

special-delivery-2

Timely and speedy delivery plays a key role in customer satisfaction in today’s on-demand world. With accurate cloud-based mapping resources, merchants are finding ways to shave off precious minutes from last-mile delivery routes so customers keep coming back.

How Google Maps APIs are fighting HIV in Kenya

In 2015, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and mobile analytics solutions provider iVEDiX  came together to create the HIV Situation Room, a mobile app designed to help fight the HIV epidemic in Kenya. The app uses Google Maps APIs to create a comprehensive picture of HIV prevention efforts, testing and treatment — and make this programmatic data accessible both to local staff in clinics and others on the front lines, as well as to policy makers.

We sat down with Taavi Erkkola, senior advisor on monitoring and evaluation for UNAIDS, and Brian Annechino, director of government and public sector solutions for iVEDiX, to hear more about the project and why they chose Google Maps APIs to help them in the fight against HIV.

How did the idea for the UNAIDS HIV Situation Room app come about?

Taavi Erkkola: As of 2015, UNAIDS estimates a total of 36.7 million people living with HIV globally. Of those, 2.1 million are newly infected, with approximately 5,700 new HIV infections a day. Sixty-six percent of all infected by HIV reside in sub-Saharan Africa, and approximately 400 people infected per day there are children under age 15. To effectively combat HIV, we need access to up-to-date information on everything from recent outbreaks and locations of clinics, to in-country educational efforts and inventory levels within healthcare facilities. UNAIDS has a Situation Room at our headquarters in Geneva that gives us access to this kind of worldwide HIV data. But we wanted to build a mobile app that provided global access to the Situation Room data, with more detail at a national, county and facility-level.

We tested out the app in Kenya because the country has a strong appetite for the use of technology to better its citizens’ health. Kenyan government agencies, including the National AIDS Council, encouraged organizations like Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) and the Ministry of Health to contribute their disease control expertise and data to the Situation Room solution. Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta was an early advocate, and has demonstrated his government’s commitment to making data-driven decisions, especially in the fight against HIV and AIDS.

UNAIDS-1

Why did UNAIDS and iVEDiX choose Google Maps, and how did you use Google Maps APIs to build the HIV Situation Room app?

Brian Annechino: In Kenya, more than 80 percent of adults own a cell phone, and Android is by far the most popular operating system. Google Maps APIs are available across all platforms, including native APIs for Android, and Google Maps also offers the kind of fine-grained detail we needed — for example, the locations of more than 7,500 Kenyan healthcare facilities servicing the HIV and AIDS epidemic. Using data from multiple sources along with Google Maps, we can map things like a clinic’s risk of running out of antiretroviral medicine.

Onix, a Google Premier Partner, identified the right Google Maps components to build the app and helped us procure the licensing we needed. We used the Google Maps Android API to build the main interface. Since it was important to have the most accurate and up-to-date map data for Kenya to support the effort, we used the Street View feature of the Google Maps Android API to let people zoom into the street level and see clinics that offer HIV services in locations where Street View imagery is available.

TE: These mapping capabilities are critical because we need to give our county-level users as much insight as possible on service delivery at health facilities. Decision-makers in HIV response are at national and county-level. In this app, we’re able to combine multiple data sources to get a more comprehensive picture of HIV prevention efforts, testing and treatment across these levels.

What kind of data does the HIV Situation Room app display?

TE: The app taps into three data sources. The first is UNAIDS data set about country-by-country HIV estimates. The second is Kenya’s District Health Information System, which has detailed information from all 47 Kenyan counties — everything from the number of people treated at a specific hospital for HIV, to the number of HIV+ pregnant women attending clinics for visits, to the number of condoms distributed by each facility. The third data set will include community level data, which can also contain survey responses from clients about the quality of service they receive.

UNAIDS-2

How does the HIV Situation Room use the data?

TE: By overlaying our inventory data and field notes on a map, we can see patterns and identify trends that help us respond quickly and plan efficiently. For example, if we see breakouts occurring in a particular area, we can monitor HIV test kits in that area or increase educational efforts for target communities.

Have you seen signs that your efforts are making a difference in Kenya?

TE: One of our biggest successes in Kenya is that the app is used by the highest-level decision-makers in the country — President Kenyatta uses the app — as well as people on the front lines fighting HIV, such as program managers. Using the app, policy makers have more information than ever before, and as a result, are able to devise more effective solutions by combining insights at the local and program coordination levels. We see it as an extremely powerful tool for fighting HIV — and we’re looking to bring this tool to other countries in Africa soon.

How Google Maps APIs are fighting HIV in Kenya

In 2015, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and mobile analytics solutions provider iVEDiX  came together to create the HIV Situation Room, a mobile app designed to help fight the HIV epidemic in Kenya. The app uses Google Maps APIs to create a comprehensive picture of HIV prevention efforts, testing and treatment — and make this programmatic data accessible both to local staff in clinics and others on the front lines, as well as to policy makers.

We sat down with Taavi Erkkola, senior advisor on monitoring and evaluation for UNAIDS, and Brian Annechino, director of government and public sector solutions for iVEDiX, to hear more about the project and why they chose Google Maps APIs to help them in the fight against HIV.

How did the idea for the UNAIDS HIV Situation Room app come about?

Taavi Erkkola: As of 2015, UNAIDS estimates a total of 36.7 million people living with HIV globally. Of those, 2.1 million are newly infected, with approximately 5,700 new HIV infections a day. Sixty-six percent of all infected by HIV reside in sub-Saharan Africa, and approximately 400 people infected per day there are children under age 15. To effectively combat HIV, we need access to up-to-date information on everything from recent outbreaks and locations of clinics, to in-country educational efforts and inventory levels within healthcare facilities. UNAIDS has a Situation Room at our headquarters in Geneva that gives us access to this kind of worldwide HIV data. But we wanted to build a mobile app that provided global access to the Situation Room data, with more detail at a national, county and facility-level.

We tested out the app in Kenya because the country has a strong appetite for the use of technology to better its citizens’ health. Kenyan government agencies, including the National AIDS Council, encouraged organizations like Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) and the Ministry of Health to contribute their disease control expertise and data to the Situation Room solution. Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta was an early advocate, and has demonstrated his government’s commitment to making data-driven decisions, especially in the fight against HIV and AIDS.

UNAIDS-1

Why did UNAIDS and iVEDiX choose Google Maps, and how did you use Google Maps APIs to build the HIV Situation Room app?

Brian Annechino: In Kenya, more than 80 percent of adults own a cell phone, and Android is by far the most popular operating system. Google Maps APIs are available across all platforms, including native APIs for Android, and Google Maps also offers the kind of fine-grained detail we needed — for example, the locations of more than 7,500 Kenyan healthcare facilities servicing the HIV and AIDS epidemic. Using data from multiple sources along with Google Maps, we can map things like a clinic’s risk of running out of antiretroviral medicine.

Onix, a Google Premier Partner, identified the right Google Maps components to build the app and helped us procure the licensing we needed. We used the Google Maps Android API to build the main interface. Since it was important to have the most accurate and up-to-date map data for Kenya to support the effort, we used the Street View feature of the Google Maps Android API to let people zoom into the street level and see clinics that offer HIV services in locations where Street View imagery is available.

TE: These mapping capabilities are critical because we need to give our county-level users as much insight as possible on service delivery at health facilities. Decision-makers in HIV response are at national and county-level. In this app, we’re able to combine multiple data sources to get a more comprehensive picture of HIV prevention efforts, testing and treatment across these levels.

What kind of data does the HIV Situation Room app display?

TE: The app taps into three data sources. The first is UNAIDS data set about country-by-country HIV estimates. The second is Kenya’s District Health Information System, which has detailed information from all 47 Kenyan counties — everything from the number of people treated at a specific hospital for HIV, to the number of HIV+ pregnant women attending clinics for visits, to the number of condoms distributed by each facility. The third data set will include community level data, which can also contain survey responses from clients about the quality of service they receive.

UNAIDS-2

How does the HIV Situation Room use the data?

TE: By overlaying our inventory data and field notes on a map, we can see patterns and identify trends that help us respond quickly and plan efficiently. For example, if we see breakouts occurring in a particular area, we can monitor HIV test kits in that area or increase educational efforts for target communities.

Have you seen signs that your efforts are making a difference in Kenya?

TE: One of our biggest successes in Kenya is that the app is used by the highest-level decision-makers in the country — President Kenyatta uses the app — as well as people on the front lines fighting HIV, such as program managers. Using the app, policy makers have more information than ever before, and as a result, are able to devise more effective solutions by combining insights at the local and program coordination levels. We see it as an extremely powerful tool for fighting HIV — and we’re looking to bring this tool to other countries in Africa soon.

How Google Maps APIs are fighting HIV in Kenya

In 2015, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and mobile analytics solutions provider iVEDiX  came together to create the HIV Situation Room, a mobile app designed to help fight the HIV epidemic in Kenya. The app uses Google Maps APIs to create a comprehensive picture of HIV prevention efforts, testing and treatment — and make this programmatic data accessible both to local staff in clinics and others on the front lines, as well as to policy makers.

We sat down with Taavi Erkkola, senior advisor on monitoring and evaluation for UNAIDS, and Brian Annechino, director of government and public sector solutions for iVEDiX, to hear more about the project and why they chose Google Maps APIs to help them in the fight against HIV.

How did the idea for the UNAIDS HIV Situation Room app come about?

Taavi Erkkola: As of 2015, UNAIDS estimates a total of 36.7 million people living with HIV globally. Of those, 2.1 million are newly infected, with approximately 5,700 new HIV infections a day. Sixty-six percent of all infected by HIV reside in sub-Saharan Africa, and approximately 400 people infected per day there are children under age 15. To effectively combat HIV, we need access to up-to-date information on everything from recent outbreaks and locations of clinics, to in-country educational efforts and inventory levels within healthcare facilities. UNAIDS has a Situation Room at our headquarters in Geneva that gives us access to this kind of worldwide HIV data. But we wanted to build a mobile app that provided global access to the Situation Room data, with more detail at a national, county and facility-level.

We tested out the app in Kenya because the country has a strong appetite for the use of technology to better its citizens’ health. Kenyan government agencies, including the National AIDS Council, encouraged organizations like Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) and the Ministry of Health to contribute their disease control expertise and data to the Situation Room solution. Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta was an early advocate, and has demonstrated his government’s commitment to making data-driven decisions, especially in the fight against HIV and AIDS.

UNAIDS-1

Why did UNAIDS and iVEDiX choose Google Maps, and how did you use Google Maps APIs to build the HIV Situation Room app?

Brian Annechino: In Kenya, more than 80 percent of adults own a cell phone, and Android is by far the most popular operating system. Google Maps APIs are available across all platforms, including native APIs for Android, and Google Maps also offers the kind of fine-grained detail we needed — for example, the locations of more than 7,500 Kenyan healthcare facilities servicing the HIV and AIDS epidemic. Using data from multiple sources along with Google Maps, we can map things like a clinic’s risk of running out of antiretroviral medicine.

Onix, a Google Premier Partner, identified the right Google Maps components to build the app and helped us procure the licensing we needed. We used the Google Maps Android API to build the main interface. Since it was important to have the most accurate and up-to-date map data for Kenya to support the effort, we used the Street View feature of the Google Maps Android API to let people zoom into the street level and see clinics that offer HIV services in locations where Street View imagery is available.

TE: These mapping capabilities are critical because we need to give our county-level users as much insight as possible on service delivery at health facilities. Decision-makers in HIV response are at national and county-level. In this app, we’re able to combine multiple data sources to get a more comprehensive picture of HIV prevention efforts, testing and treatment across these levels.

What kind of data does the HIV Situation Room app display?

TE: The app taps into three data sources. The first is UNAIDS data set about country-by-country HIV estimates. The second is Kenya’s District Health Information System, which has detailed information from all 47 Kenyan counties — everything from the number of people treated at a specific hospital for HIV, to the number of HIV+ pregnant women attending clinics for visits, to the number of condoms distributed by each facility. The third data set will include community level data, which can also contain survey responses from clients about the quality of service they receive.

UNAIDS-2

How does the HIV Situation Room use the data?

TE: By overlaying our inventory data and field notes on a map, we can see patterns and identify trends that help us respond quickly and plan efficiently. For example, if we see breakouts occurring in a particular area, we can monitor HIV test kits in that area or increase educational efforts for target communities.

Have you seen signs that your efforts are making a difference in Kenya?

TE: One of our biggest successes in Kenya is that the app is used by the highest-level decision-makers in the country — President Kenyatta uses the app — as well as people on the front lines fighting HIV, such as program managers. Using the app, policy makers have more information than ever before, and as a result, are able to devise more effective solutions by combining insights at the local and program coordination levels. We see it as an extremely powerful tool for fighting HIV — and we’re looking to bring this tool to other countries in Africa soon.

Keep track of your favorite places and share them with friends

Is your bucket list etched in your memory, or scribbled on a dozen post-it notes scattered around your home? Have you ever promised out-of-town guests an email full of your favorite spots, only to never get around to clicking send? Starting today, you can create lists of places, share your lists with others, and follow the lists your friends and family share with you—without ever leaving the Google Maps app (Android, iOS).

Getting started is easy. Simply open the Google Maps app and find that BBQ spot you’ve been wanting to try. Tapping on the place name and then the “Save” icon adds the place to one of several pre-set lists like “Want to Go” or “Favorites.” You can also add the restaurant to a new list that you name yourself, like “Finger Lickin’ BBQ.” To recall the lists you’ve created, go to Your Places (in the side menu) and then open the saved tab. Icons for the places you’ve saved to lists will appear on the map itself, so you’ll always know whether one of your must-try BBQ spots is nearby.

Because sharing is caring, we made it easy to share lists like “Best Views in SF” via text, email, social networks and popular messaging apps. Whenever friends and family come to town, tap the share button to get a link and start flexing your local knowledge muscles. Once you send a link to your out-of-towners, they can tap “Follow” to pull up the list from Your Places whenever they need it. Here’s how it all works in real life:

Lists on Google Maps

The lists you follow are with you wherever you take Google Maps and are viewable on mobile and desktop—and even offline. Next time you’re on a trip, download offline maps of the area in advance and you’ll be able to see all the places you’ve added to lists on the map itself.

With the millions of landmarks, businesses and other points of interest in Google Maps, there’s no shortage of places to try. Now that we’ve got the world mapped, it’s your turn to map your world with Lists—from local hotspots to bucket list destinations worlds away.

Keep track of your favorite places and share them with friends

Is your bucket list etched in your memory, or scribbled on a dozen post-it notes scattered around your home? Have you ever promised out-of-town guests an email full of your favorite spots, only to never get around to clicking send? Starting today, you can create lists of places, share your lists with others, and follow the lists your friends and family share with you—without ever leaving the Google Maps app (Android, iOS).

Getting started is easy. Simply open the Google Maps app and find that BBQ spot you’ve been wanting to try. Tapping on the place name and then the “Save” icon adds the place to one of several pre-set lists like “Want to Go” or “Favorites.” You can also add the restaurant to a new list that you name yourself, like “Finger Lickin’ BBQ.” To recall the lists you’ve created, go to Your Places (in the side menu) and then open the saved tab. Icons for the places you’ve saved to lists will appear on the map itself, so you’ll always know whether one of your must-try BBQ spots is nearby.

Because sharing is caring, we made it easy to share lists like “Best Views in SF” via text, email, social networks and popular messaging apps. Whenever friends and family come to town, tap the share button to get a link and start flexing your local knowledge muscles. Once you send a link to your out-of-towners, they can tap “Follow” to pull up the list from Your Places whenever they need it. Here’s how it all works in real life:

Lists on Google Maps

The lists you follow are with you wherever you take Google Maps and are viewable on mobile and desktop—and even offline. Next time you’re on a trip, download offline maps of the area in advance and you’ll be able to see all the places you’ve added to lists on the map itself.

With the millions of landmarks, businesses and other points of interest in Google Maps, there’s no shortage of places to try. Now that we’ve got the world mapped, it’s your turn to map your world with Lists—from local hotspots to bucket list destinations worlds away.

Time to discover new places in Africa. Ghana, Senegal and Uganda now on Street View

From the lovely scenic mountains of the south, to the beautiful beaches of the west, and the exotic parks of east, the regions of Africa contain some of the most breathtaking views in the world.

Starting today, you can take virtual tours of some of the most iconic landmarks and monuments in Ghana, Senegal and Uganda. That means Street View now covers 81 countries from across the world, and seven in Africa.

You can now virtually explore the UNESCO World Heritage-classified village of Nzulezo in Ghana, which is built over Lake Tadane, and consists of stilt-supported structures integrated seamlessly with the water-dominated natural landscape.

If you have an eye for cultural entertainment, you can now also take a virtual walk inside the National Theatre of Ghana, home to the three resident companies of the National Dance Company, the National Symphony Orchestra, and the National Theatre Players.

Explore amazing African art by taking a tour of Senegal’s imposing African Renaissance monument, a 49 meter tall bronze statue on top of one of the twin hills just outside Dakar, Senegal.

Other iconic landmarks now in Street View include the stunning Lake Retba, a unique lake known for its pink waters, and take a “drive” through major roads and towns including Dakar, Saint Louis, Thies and Touba.

We partnered with the Uganda Wildlife Authority to capture imagery of some of Uganda’s most beautiful and iconic National Parks, home to an amazing variety of wildlife. With our Street View Trekker, either carried by our team or mounted on a vehicle, we travelled through seven parks, including the stunning Queen Elizabeth National Park, which is home to 10 primate species, including chimpanzees, and more than 600 species of birds.

We’re excited that what began with a few South African cities in 2009, has now expanded to many other cities in seven countries across the continent. From Cape Town to Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania and now Ghana, Uganda and Senegal, we’re glad that more people from around the world can get a glimpse of this beautiful continent. We think you’ll be tempted to pack your own cameras to explore in person as well!