Last month, there were reports about Google working on a new feature to help users in India locate toilets around them, which is nothing short of a blessing really! And now, the feature has gone live. Starting today, Google Maps users in Delhi NCR and Madhya Pradesh will be able to track the nearest toilet to wherever they are.
For data on toilets, Google has collaborated with the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) to get information on location, address and opening hours of over four thousand communal and public restrooms in just Delhi NCR including Ghaziabad, Gurugram, Noida, Faridabad, and Bhopal and Indore in Madhya Pradesh. The service will be available both on the mobile app, as well as on the desktop app, and will be accessible in both English and Hindi.
“When you search for “public toilet” on Google Maps in an area where the service is available, you’ll see a list of restrooms near you, including the respective address and opening hours. For instance, if you’re traveling on the national highway 8 in Gurugram, locating a public toilet can be challenging and most often the only option is going to nearby restaurants and cafes. Having this information handy can make things much easier,” Product Manager of Google Maps, Sanket Gupta said. ALSO READ: Google Maps will soon indicate about wheelchair accessible locations
Also, since the primary point of the feature is to be able to locate a clean toilet, Google and the ministry will be putting a system in place, which would majorly rely on crowdsourcing and the users’ feedback. Therefore, if a person finds that a toilet is not clean, and gives it a bad review, that particular loo will automatically fall under poorly rated lavatories. Essentially this would work like Zomato for restaurant. You search for a place around, check the ratings and reviews, and make your decision. Also, the toilets would include not only the public restrooms or Sulabh Shauchalays in the area, but also those in public places like metro stations, malls, petrol pumps and hospitals. ALSO READ: Google aims to develop more India-relevant features
Additionally, looking from the ministry’s perspective, this is an important cornerstone of the government’s Swachh Bharat campaign for a clean India. This includes making information about existing sanitation facilities easily accessible to people. Google is beginning to roll out these new local listings on Google Maps today, and they will be available to users both on desktop and Google Maps on both Android and iOS. ALSO READ: Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency demonetization: Google search now lets you find the nearest ATM