Prakash Singh/Agence France-Presse

Google Nigeria is committed to providing digital maps to ease movement, encourage tourism and create jobs in the country, Mrs Titi Akinsonmi, Public Policy Lead of the organisation, has said.

Akinsonmi,gave the assurance during a meeting with business owners, developers and other users of Google map in Abuja on Friday.

The meeting was to enable end users share their experiences using the digital map to visualise their business data, make smarter and faster decisions.

Akinsonmi said that there were components that made the establishment of digital map easier.

According to her, the map requires geospatial services, local guide and street view for effective search.

“Digital map helps you make better decisions and some traffic information for you to take a better route.

“Geospatial services help you to plan your transit as someone who is not driving a car.

“The street view enables you as a tourist to know the areas that are not safe and you can work with street view imagery to ensure you are seeing where you are going.

“We are doing a lot more on that and the local guide helps provide information for people who do not know where they are,” she said.

According to Akinsonmi, the organisation has developed Google map for about 10,000km areas in Lagos.

She added that the organisation was working within the law to provide maps for other cities in the country.

“There are legalities and we have to get permission to be able to capture other cities in the country.

“We are working with the Surveyor-General of the Federation and the relevant ministries as well as other partners and security agencies to be able to drive other cities.

“Our hope and our goal is that we can actually do this for the entire Nigeria, that will be as we go along, but we are very much committed to this,” Akinsonmi said.

Mr Nicolo Audreula, Principal Alphabet, said that Nigerians using Google maps could save cost, travel easily and publicise their businesses.

Audreula added that the use of digital maps could be deployed to solve some environmental issues.

“Nigerian users of digital maps value it at N22, 131 per person which results in total consumer benefits of N1, 781 billion yearly.

“N190 billion in time related cost savings have been realised in the country through the support of digital maps and 66 per cent of people have planned safe routes.

“Small and medium scale enterprises can also claim positions on digital maps.

“Digital maps can be used in the area of health to map out areas prone to disease break out,” he said.

Mr Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, said that there was a need to leverage on the provisions of the digital map to develop tourism and the economy.

“Technology has improved the quality of life in terms of location; with the help of digital maps, we can get to a location faster and safer.

“The use of digital maps can save money, protect the environment, improve security and the economy.

“This is a technology that needs to be imbibed.

“On the part of government, we also need to provide more infrastructure, in terms of broadband, power to ensure effective usage of this facility by citizens,” Mohammed said.

Mr Folorunsho Coker, Director-General, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, said that the corporation was focusing on local content which Google was providing.

Represented by Mr Mafwil Mabura, Assistant Director in the corporation, Coker said that information and locations were important to tourists.

He said the board was ready to partner relevant organisations to ensure accessibility of information by tourists.

The Surveyor-General of the Federation, Mr Awudu Ebisintei, said that citizens could benefit from the services of special information.

Ebisintei added that Nigeria was in for a better deal by imbibing the use of digital maps.

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