Kerala

Google Maps to shut all routes to scamsters

Miscreants being blacklisted, Google team trying to prevent spam from going live on map

In the wake of scamsters misusing the user interface of Google Maps to con banking customers in India, Google is “working closely with banks” to prevent recurrence of such instances.

“We are also blacklisting such miscreants and our spam detection and protection team is working really hard to prevent spam from going live on the map,” Anal Ghosh, Sr. Program Manager, Google Maps for India, said here on Thursday.

Google Maps diligently verifies user edits to ensure the veracity and accuracy of the information made available, he added.

During an interaction with the media, Mr. Ghosh and John Payyappillil John, Kerala-origin software engineer of Google Maps at its Seattle office, presented some recently introduced features of Google Maps such as two-wheeler mode, which, they said, are well-subscribed across Kerala, plus codes, local languages including Malayalam on maps, options to explore local places, real-time location sharing, multi-stop directions and maps on feature phones.

The two-wheeler mode in Google Maps was introduced first in India and was widely used in cities such as Kochi, Kozhikode, Thiruvananthapuram and Palakkad, they maintained. The mode shows routes that use shortcuts that are not accessible by four-wheelers. It also shows major landmarks along the route, thereby getting rid of the need to check the map on the phone all along.

They also introduced voice navigation, which can be set to one of the seven Indian languages including Malayalam.

On the map, dual labelling, in one of the 10 preferred local languages besides English, is available.

A lighter version of the map, Maps Go, which does not consume much of storage space on low-end Android phones, was also introduced. Option is available to change the language of the app to Malayalam from within the app itself. A new commute tab on the map allows the user to automatically select travel between home and workplace.

Plus Codes, a system that works anywhere in the world, acts as a digital address in ‘six character and city’ format for people or places that do not have a physical one.

“This came in handy during the recent Kerala floods when stranded people were able to share their exact location using this,” they said.

Local guides

The Google officials said services of thousands of local guides, who review, add photos and places to maps, were being used by the company across Kerala to constantly improve the Google Maps experience.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 4:36:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/google-maps-to-shut-all-routes-to-scamsters/article25792017.ece

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