Google puts South Africa on cyber map

Internet

This week will be a big one in South Africa’s cyber life: a South Africa layer is to be added to the core software of the global satellite tool Google Earth.

An offshoot of the giant Internet search engine company Google, Google Earth allows users to navigate 3D images of cities and geographical areas. The more advanced models, which map the US and UK, provide 3D street view images, regular traffic reports and weather notifications.

The South Africa layer, which was designed by South Africa and London- based Quirk eMarketing in partnership with South African Tourism, has been designed with international tourists in mind.

Quirk eMarketing chief executive Rob Stokes says: “It’s my hope that it will bring more people to South Africa or at the very least get more people talking about South Africa.” According to Stokes, the South Africa layer contains more specific information regarding the 2010 Fifa World Cup. The 2010 sub-layer includes plans for new developments and there are even pictures of the stadiums currently under construction.

“It gives a sense of where the stadiums are in relation to where people will be staying as well as nearby attractions,” says Stokes. The layer enables users to search information on 120 place marks around the country logged under specific categories such as urban vibes, culture and heritage and self-drive routes.

Stokes says it is a coup to have the South Africa layer incorporated into Google, which will have a potential audience of 300-million users across the world. Go to http://earth.southafrica.net/ to check it out. A Google Kenya map will be launched soon.

The Times