Google is expanding Google Maps into 30 African countries where it was not previously available.
"One of the things we spend a lot of time thinking about at Google is how we can make the world’s information more accessible and useful to people all over the globe," Google says. "This includes providing rich local geographic data because, after all, a huge number of search queries have a geographic component. Our efforts to start putting Africa on a map kicked off back in 2009 when we announced the launch of Google Maps for Kenya. Not long afterwords, we announced that users across 45 African countries could build and edit maps in Map Maker. Most recently, we launched Google Maps for South Africa."
With Google Maps launching domains for 30 more countries, that means not only scenery and roads for these countries, but also local business listings, which can drive a lot of business to brick and mortars. Search engines have all but replaced print yellow pages for many people, and businesses in these countries should feel the effects of that as the listings grow.
Google is encouraging users in the new countries to get involved and help them make the maps better. "You know your local area better than we do, which is why Map Maker is on offer. With Map Maker, any user can create or edit map data, ranging from schools to local businesses, national parks to taxi stops. If you know your local area, or you’ve seen something that’s missing, take up the opportunity to get mapping! As we’ve pointed out before, maps are also invaluable for governments, NGOs, universities and entrepreneurs, who can visualise, plan and market the areas and projects that they work on."
Including islands there are now over 50 African counries with Google maps available.