Geek Culture

Google Maps Adds Singapore Hawker Centre Views By Early 2020

Want to travel the world but short on cash? Don’t worry as budget travelling takes on a whole new meaning with Google Maps that lets you travel the world, for absolutely free.

With Google Maps, those living across the globe can now easily visit places such as the Colosseum in Rome and even Count Dracula’s Castle in Romania. You can now visit anywhere in the world, from the highest of mountains to the deepest of caves, all at the click of a button. 

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With all these places waiting to be explored, Google has announced that it will be adding several new locations to its repertoire and they are none other than Singapore’s very own hawker centres.

What Singaporeans lack in physical cultural history, they make up with culinary delights. 

Announced on July 30, Google will be working together with the National Heritage Board (NHB), National Environment Agency (NEA), and Federation of Merchants’ Associations, Singapore (FMAS) to help highlight Singapore’s hawker centre culture online and help drive more footfall to hawker centres. 

With this new initiative, all 114 hawker centres in Singapore, starting with Chinatown Market, Geylang Serai Market, Tekka Market, Maxwell Food Centre and Golden Mile Food Centre, will be documented and placed on Google Maps. Hence after, they will be discoverable to anyone who is curious about the hawker centres in Singapore. 

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“Through this public-private partnership, we hope to create a comprehensive databank of all the hawker centres in Singapore so that we can better document and safeguard these hawker centres,” NHB’s Deputy Chief Executive of Policy and Communications, Alvin Tan, said.  “And to make this databank searchable so that local and international fans of our Hawker Culture can find out more about each hawker centre and their offerings before making a trip down to patronise their favourite hawker stalls.”

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Google will be providing an immersive 360-degree view of Singapore Hawker Centres from the inside, allowing users to browse each hawker centre. Useful information of each individual stalls will also be available such as its name, stall number, and photos. Prior to this initiative, users could only view the exterior of hawker centres on Google Maps’ Street View. 

To help capture the necessary images for Google Maps, Google will be using the Google Street View Trekker – a 360-degree camera system mounted on a backpack. So if you’re dining in a hawker centre and spot someone wearing a blue looking contraption on their back, do not be alarmed. 

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Vice-President of FMAS Lim Gek Meng also notes that this initiative will be beneficial in helping customers find their way around a hawker centre. In particular bigger ones such as the Chinatown Market. With this project, users can now locate the hawker stalls they wish to patronise with ease. 

“This project is beneficial to the hawker community as it will help customers to locate hawker stalls with ease. Also, with an online presence, hawkers are able to reach out to more customers, at no cost and with little effort,” said Lim. 

The project is expected to be completed and launched on Google Maps by early 2020.

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