Google Maps is now listing public food shelters and public night shelters across 30 cities on its platform in India. The new feature that is aimed to help citizens during the COVID-19 outbreak is initially available in English. However, Google is working towards enabling the experience in Hindi as well. Users just need to have the Google Maps app on their smartphone to search for their nearby public food shelters or public night shelters. Alternatively, the enhanced searching is also available through Google Search or the Google Assistant available on smartphones and KaiOS-based feature phones such as the Jio Phone.
To surface results for food and night shelters, Google is working closely with state and central government authorities. The government’s citizen engagement platform MyGov revealed the latest update through its Twitter account on Sunday. Google also confirmed its presence by releasing a press statement on Monday.
Users on Google Maps, Google Search, or Google Assistant can search for public shelters by merely searching for “Food shelters in” or “Night shelters in.” The feature is initially available in English, though it will also soon go live in Hindi.
Since users who would need to search for public food or night shelters near them, most are unlikely to have a smartphone, Google also enabled the experience for live phone users through the available Google Assistant access Have done The search company is also working on expanding the knowledge to other Indian languages and adding additional shelters in more cities across the country in the coming weeks. Google even does not seem to offer night or food shelter details through its Google Assistant Vodafone Idea phone line service that can be very useful for people who do not have a smartphone. We have reached out to Google to find out when it plans to add the same feature to the phone line service.
Additionally, Google has plans to access the search feature through quick access shortcuts that will appear below the search bar of the Google Maps app, shortcuts on Google Maps on the Chaos feature phone, and the default when the Google Maps app opens for the first time. Food and night shelter pins appear on the map.
Google India senior program manager Anal Ghosh said in a statement, “highlighting the locations of food and night shelters on Google Maps is a step to make this information easily available to users in need, and to ensure that they Take advantage of the food and shelter services provided by government officials. “With the help of volunteers, NGOs, and traffic officials, we are expected to convey this important information to the affected people, many of whom may not have access to a smartphone or mobile device during this time.”
In late March, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) announced the development of a custom map on Google Maps to highlight the location of hunger relief centers run by the Delhi government. These centers provide free lunch and dinner daily between 12-3 to 6-9 pm.
To help meet the general public’s food home delivery needs, Google Maps also added a delivery option that sits next to existing petrol and coffee shortcuts. Users can use the Google Maps app on their smartphone to view nearby takeaway-supporting restaurants, grocery stores, and chemist shops during a nationwide lockdown.
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