According to the Google IPSOS report on mobile behaviour, 46 percent of smartphone users in India are using their devices to look up directions, or just simply explore maps. Today, mobile phones have become more than just a device for making and receiving calls; they have transformed into multi-utility devices – for entertainment, instant messaging, on-the-go social networking, and more. Unlike most content, which is ‘fed’ to users, Google Maps engages consumers to create maps, which are then used by more users.
Google Map Maker has enabled users to map thousands of cities in India. The product was created with the insight that users are one of the best sources for maps data, with thousands of edits made in a day. Reflecting our users’ passion, schools, roads and religious establishments have seen the highest number of edits from 2007 till date, with Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Delhi showing the highest level of contribution on Google Maps. India is also one of the fastest growing Google Mobile Maps (GMM) countries in the world.
Google Maps shows what people in India search for
Highlighting the relevance of Google Maps and Map Maker for the country, Lalitesh Katragadda, Country Head- India Products, Google said, “India is an important market for Google. India’s citizen mappers have constantly helped us edit and improve Google maps, bringing in deep, rich maps, and local information alive for India. Beyond recreational and convenience value, maps have an enormous influence on the world. Not only do they help in relief efforts during a calamity, but also aid social development.”
Talking about “making it local”, Google thought it would be fun to take a look at the popular destinations being searched by Indian internet users in three metropolitan cities – Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru. The company reviewed the search activities on maps.google.co.in for August 2012. Here’s a look at what people are searching for.
Overall, hotels were the most searched for destinations across all three cities – The Imperial emerged as the most searched for hotel in Delhi; Mumbaikars were busy keying in The Trident, making it the most popular hotel on Google Maps, and The Leela Kempinski was the most searched five star property in Bengaluru.
The available data shows that people living in Delhi and Mumbai are absolute foodies, with Karim’s and Hard Rock Café being the top searched hangout joints, respectively. Bangaloreans love their malls as they provide one stop shop for the entire family; Phonenix Market City is the highest searched destination amongst all other city malls.
Educational institutes, particularly engineering colleges, represent another category where Bengaluru stood out. While IIM Bangalore stood at number two in the search list, other who made it to this category include NIFT, and the Bishop Cotton Boys school. The southern city has also established itself as a healthcare hub, in comparison to Delhi and Mumbai, which have more specialized hospitals. In Bengaluru, Jayadeva Hospital and the very popular Narayana Hrudayalaya featured high on the search trends.
Delhi and Mumbai showed cultural similarity with location based search interest in religious places – Jama Masjid was most searched in the capital city, and Siddhivinayak Temple in Mumbai. Outgoing in their own different way, the locals in both cities clearly showed where their interest lies. Outdoor loving Delhiites searched for tourist destinations, including Connaught Place, National Rail Museum, and India Gate, versus movie buff Mumbaikars, who indulge in movies to spend leisure time. Within the broader movie theatre searches, Big Cinemas – IMAX Wadala, and PVR Cinema are the most popular hangout for Bollywood and Hollywood lovers in the maximum city.
Announcing this data, Lalitesh added, “Planning vacations and trips to weekend getaways are now easier because the map gives tourists plenty of insights into the place and its neighborhood, including directions to the location. This data is proof that users are continuously accessing information on maps to find places and mapping their communities.”