Google invites Singaporeans to build Maps

Google has launched its Map Maker application, asking people to contribute their knowledge of their favourite places and build a more comprehensive. Once approved, these contributions will appear on Google Maps, Google Earth and Google Maps for mobile.

The function has just rolled out in Singapore.

Here’s it works:

Leonard Tan, CEO of PurpleClick views this as a great move for local marketers, especially SMEs. On top of smaller local businesses being able to now have a presence on Google Maps, the end user will also be able to add their favourite listings.

“Currently, visibility on search engines is skewed towards the larger chain stores or businesses and the information available could be perceived by searchers as more commercialised,” said Tan.

However Maik Lutze, ECD, Proximity Singapore is skeptical. He said that while the possibilities for LBS marketing are exciting, no one has been able to hit the nail on the head when it comes to engaging the consumer yet.

“Today the experience is often sub-par and only in rare cases does it pay off for marketers. One reason is the challenge of keeping geo-location information correct and updated,” said Lutze.

He added that in Singapore, location based marketing faces an additional barrier as the market size is compact enough for locals to know stores and destinations significantly well.

“We’ve created an excellent world of mouth system and using digital helpers isn’t top of mind. People don’t want to walk into a mall and find their phone endlessly buzzing advertising products or services that aren’t of interest. Would we like the fact that the location of our every step is readily available for companies to use? That’s useful without doubt, but to many it's not a pleasant thought.”