As Singaporeans, we absolutely love our hawker food, but doing research on a stall can be difficult if they don’t have an online presence.
To help Singaporeans and tourists locate their favourite hawker haunts more easily, Google, the National Heritage Board (NHB), the National Environment Agency (NEA), and the Federation of Merchants’ Associations, Singapore (FMAS) has announced a joint initiative to make hawker stalls discoverable on Google Maps.
This is in a bid to help hawkers in Singapore establish their presence online on Google Maps and Search, and “hopefully attract more customers and footfall”.
Foodies from around the world curious about Singapore’s hawker scene will also be able to learn more about it with a simple search.
Immersive 360-degree imagery of all 114 of Singapore’s hawker centres will be available on Google Maps’ Street View.
Beyond that, useful information about individual hawker stalls will also be available on Google Maps.
This includes information such as the name of the stall, the stall number, and photos that locals and tourists can easily access through an online search.
Each stall will also receive a separate pin on Google showing its exact location within the hawker centre.
Google will be collecting indoor imagery of all 114 hawker centres, starting with Chinatown Market, Geylang Serai Market, Tekka Market, Maxwell Food Centre, and Golden Mile Food Centre, amongst others.
Said Mr Lim Gek Meng, Vice-President of FMAS and Chairman of the Chinatown Complex Hawkers’ Association: “This project is beneficial to the hawker community as it will help customers to locate hawker stalls with ease. Also, with an online presence, hawkers are able to reach out to more customers, at no cost and with little effort.”
Operators collecting the images will be travelling on foot using the new Street View Trekker, which uses a state-of-the-art 360° camera system mounted on a wearable backpack.
Said Mr Amit Morya, Street View APAC Programme Manager said: “By documenting all 114 hawker centres, we hope to help more people get a glimpse into this fascinating part of Singapore’s culture and ultimately help bolster the local hawkers’ businesses.”
Added Mr Khoo Seow Poh, NEA’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer (Planning, Corporate & Technology): “This joint initiative will allow more than 6,000 hawkers to have an online presence on a platform that is widely used.”
The imagery is expected to be completed and launched on Google Maps by early 2020, for the public to access.