By the end of the final round of Google Business Group (GBG) Dhaka’s pilot project titled “Mapping Banani,” a total of around 350 business organisations located in the capital’s Banani area were added to Google Maps using Google’s map making software on September 14. The first round took place on September 7.
In the second round, businesses located at Banani Road-19, Kemal Ataturk and nearby places were mapped. A group of 30 volunteers was divided into teams of 2 and each team was assigned a separate zone to cover. These teams reached out to individual businesses for information like the business category, name, address, contact details and working hours if they agreed to being mapped.
After filling out the generic data, the volunteers handed the businesses stickers reading “We’re Famous! Find us on Google Maps." At the back of the stickers, the URL “www.maps.google.com” was provided so that the organisations could find themselves through Google searches.
To increase the credibility of business information provided on the internet, the data collected by the volunteers was verified and then entered into Google Maps on the same day by Regional Expert Reviewers, who are identified as “Power Mappers” by Google map maker software.
This voluntary mapping of businesses is a first of its kind from the GBG community and Dhaka was chosen as the first city in the world to launch the pilot project. Video clips of the project will be shown in GBGs across the world to inspire businesses in different countries to put themselves in the Google Maps.
Riyad Husain, one of the managers of GBG Dhaka, said the main objective of the event was to “highlight the importance of local businesses being on Google Maps.”
GBG identifies some of the key benefits of putting businesses on Google Maps as free map accessibility for the community with detailed and verified content and advertisement of the businesses. Nash Islam, Manager of GBG Dhaka, said: “Mapping is a fundamental identity of a community.”
After the volunteers returned with data collected from 200 businesses within two and a half hours across the targeted roads in Banani, they were provided with refreshments. The 2-round project concluded with plans of taking the mapping community of Bangladesh to the next level by encouraging the volunteers to start mapping their own neighbourhoods. The event took place at Magnito Digital’s Banani office.