Celebrating 15 years of Google Maps and why Sundar Pichai wants a burrito
Today, your cab driver believes the voice on the phone over the directions given by you. Such has been the impact of Google Maps on society.
Now in its 15th year, Google CEO Sundar Pichai took to a blog to express his pleasure over how Maps have helped him get around large cities.
"I used Google Maps in India. I had arrived in Mumbai in the early morning hours and jumped into a cab to get to a friend’s house which was difficult to locate. Using Google Maps, I was able to give the driver turn-by-turn directions without asking anyone. I was excited by how easy it was, but my driver was really blown away," says Pichai in his blog.
As part of Maps' 15th year anniversary, Google has launched a redesign that prominently solicits users' reviews of places they visit. This will include a combination of photos, reviews, and more. This data will then be used to launch multiple services in the consumer space.
Google employees mapped whole cities, literally driving from gully to gully over the last fifteen years. Just like how James Rennell set out to charter India in 1762.
Legend has it that his team did it with a compass and a distance-measuring wheel called a perambulator. Now, things have changed since those days of adventure of mapping the world. It's all available at just a click.
Google mapped Bengaluru in 2007. Today, startups like, , , among others are leveraging its various features for business.
In fact, Maps was one of the first to be highly accurate about places that people could visit and began to be used by every sales person trying to find the hidden client.
"I’m so proud of how Google Maps has grown from a small team with a big mission, to helping a billion people discover the world around them. Wishing Google Maps a very happy 15th birthday — I may have a burrito to celebrate!" says Pichai in his blog.
(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)