Google Maps turns 15... and announces the top spots in Joburg and Cape Town
Photo Cred: Google

Google Maps just got a new icon and more tabs to celebrate its 15th anniversary!


South Africa (12 February 2020) – Google Maps turned 15 on 8 February and, as part of the celebrations, Google Maps has revealed the venues its users rate highly in Joburg and Cape Town… the results aren’t what you’d expect.

The top restaurant in Johannesburg, according to Google Maps users, isn’t one of Rosebank or Sandton’s glittering venues. Some of the other results will surprise you too. Each listing is linked to the establishment’s Google Maps information page where you can get more information.

Joburg Restaurants

  • Ana-Paula’s Coffee Shop
  • The Marabi Club
  • Ristorante La Trinita

Joburg Bars

  • Sin+Tax
  • The Blind Tiger
  • Trumps Grillhouse and Butcher

Joburg Tourist Attractions

  • Nizamiye Mosque
  • Madhya Kailash Temple
  • Hashtag Escape

Cape Town Restaurants

  • La Petite Colombe
  • La Colombe
  • Moro Gelato

Cape Town Bars

  • The Gin Bar
  • Cause Effect
  • The Biggest Little Beer Shop

Cape Town Tourist Attractions

  • Parapax Paragliding
  • Muir Street Mosque
  • Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden

How many ways?

Using Google Maps to get from point A to B is all good and well, but users around the world have innovative and occasionally odd, ways in which they use Maps to do all sorts of things. We’ve rounded up the top 15 below. In how many ways do you and followers use Google Maps?

Finding jobs: Harambee is using Maps with Google Cloud Platform to link where job seekers live with the closest available jobs to them, in South Africa. (This is also something the Google Assistant does)
Budgeting: Visualise where you’ve spent your money on a Map.

Safety: Track “fires near me”, stay safe on public transport, controlling how fast teenagers drive when they’re driving the family car, or view Halloween treats maps that lead kids to safe sweeties on Halloween.
Crime: Delivery workers are mapping dangerous areas via Maps in Mexico, while in the US a 22-year old murder case was solved thanks to Maps.

Accessibility: A smart cane is helping blind people to navigate their way around cities on foot through Maps and sensors.

Health: A fitness platform is convincing people in a gym they’re actually running the Boston Marathon to keep them motivated to exercise.

Food security: A non-profit is helping city dwellers in 111 countries (including South Africa) forage for free food growing in their area.

Brain research: Researchers are using the Maps interface to track brain scans of mice, while others are using bicycles and Street View to help people with Alzheimer’s remember their lives and loved ones.

Green Living/Environmental: Danish actor and UNDP Goodwill Ambassador Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (better known as Game of Thrones’s Jaime Lannister) is using Google Street View Trekker to track climate change in Greenland. Animal conservation efforts across the world are mapping endangered animals. The Environmental Defense Fund in the US has attached sensors to Street View cars to map methane emissions.

Media: Street View imagery is being used by media to help identify locations and fact check stories.

Travel: You can take a virtual gorilla safari or a tour of the tallest mountain in Germany using AR, VR and Maps or find an organic farm to work on.

Archaeology: Amateur and professional archaeologists are exploring and studying the burial mounds at and around Stonehenge.

Genealogy: People around the world are simplifying and sharing family tree research using Maps.

Pets: Tracking your pets, wherever they are, just got easier using a GPS tracker and Maps.

Saving time: Using Maps to check how long a queue is at your favourite shop (and whether it’s still open for the day) is a thing.

Sources: Google 
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Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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