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Explore Singapore’s hawker culture on Google maps

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In the aims of boosting Singapore’s hawker centre image, a team from Google is making rounds around the country to capture images of these places.

Google’s street view trekkers are set to visit 114 hawker centres across the country. They will be carrying backpacks which will hold the latest 360-degree camera equipment. The trekkers will utilise this equipment and capture images of the hawker centres.

This is in line with Singapore’s attempt at being awarded the UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Google made this announcement on Tuesday, July 30. This project is making similar efforts to those of the National Heritage Board (NHB), the National Environment Agency (NEA) and the Federation of Merchants’ Associations, Singapore (FMAS)- all with the aim of boosting Singapore’s nomination under Unesco’s list.

Teams of five will be taking shots every two seconds. They will scour hawker centres in the areas of Chinatown Market, Geylang Serai Market, Tekka Market, Maxwell Food Centre and Golden Mile Food Centre.

The images taken by the trekkers will be put up into Google Maps. The images, however, will only be available for viewing after the completion of the project in around early 2020.

The pictures installed will also come up with information such as the stall’s name, number and photos of it. A pin will be added to the stall on the map function, indicating its exact location.

These features combined will provide for a pool of information on the stalls and their locations for users. It will act as a highly accessible and efficient platform for them. Google Map’s virtual navigation will provide users a visual route for them to be better able to locate these stalls.

Deputy Chief Executive of policy and community at the National Heritage Board, Mr Alvin Tan said at a media event that there has been consistent work in getting Singapore’s hawker culture to be nominated since August last year.

He said that while Singapore has already submitted its nomination, this project is still relevant in capturing footage of our hawker culture and retaining the wealth of data of it.

“We wanted to make this data bank accessible and searchable by our locals as well as overseas fans of hawker culture so that they can… actually find out more information about each of the hawker centre, their stores as well as their offerings from the comfort of their home,” he said.


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