A chance for more map apps from Africa with Google Places Challenge

Quite some developments have been seen with Google maps in Africa. As the app becomes more Africa-relevant, there is a new opportunity for African developers to add more apps using Google maps through a recent challenge.

Currently, Places API Developer Challenge is accepting entries. The challenge will be open from August 15 and public voting will begin on September 27 with the deadline for submission set for October 31.

Developers are expected to create mobile and desktop apps using the Google Places API. They are also encouraged to look at their communities and think of apps that will assist in their locality. For example, an app that will map out gyms in the region or apps that will help manage traffic in the city.

The Google team said, “We’re inviting developers, designers, and tech savvy individuals to improve their community or government using the Google Places API.”

With the Google Places API, user can search for information for places such as institutions, geographic locations and prominent points of interest. The Google Places API also allows users to tailor their place search results by including their places and affecting place rankings with check-ins.

Google has enhanced its map application in recent times, with the latest being the tryout of voice commands for Google Maps in India. Named Google Maps Navigation, the platform will let users to get direction through a voice prompt.

This development will definitely give automated navigation systems in most high-end cars as well as give a chance to those who don’t have such a system in their cars. The good news however is that users can use it anywhere.

Google also introduced walking directions for some African countries earlier in July. This is realization that walking is still the most prominent mode of short distance travelling in the continent.

The Google Places App challenge will give an opportunity to add on to the great map apps witnessed in Africa. Lagos Innovation Hotspots is a recently launched app that uses Google maps, to locate business areas and what they deal in.

“We encourage all African developers to submit their entries to this challenge and win the chance to further develop their idea and aid their local communities in improving the quality of life,” the challenge team urged the continent.

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