Google and the organisations that are co-driving the nomination to inscribe Hawker Culture in Singapore on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, National Heritage Board (NHB), National Environment Agency (NEA) and Federation Of Merchants’ Associations, Singapore (FMAS) announced a joint initiative to document Singapore’s beloved hawker centres on Google Maps to make them discoverable to anyone curious about our hawker centres or looking for their favourite hawker stalls.

Home to many of Singaporeans’ favourite hawkers and the dishes they whip up, hawker centres are a familiar sight in the Singapore landscape and an integral aspect of our nation’s intangible cultural heritage. They comprise multiple stalls set up within naturally ventilated premises that serve as community dining rooms, where family and friends gather at to enjoy and bond over-familiar and well-loved hawker fare.

Google is working closely with the Singapore Government and relevant stakeholders to help hawkers in Singapore establish their presence online on Google Maps and Search. This will be done through:

  • Immersive 360-degree imagery of Singapore’s Hawker Culture using Google Maps’ Street View that visitors can browse to explore each hawker centre.
  • Useful information about individual hawker stalls within each hawker centre on Google Maps. This includes information about each stall such as its name, stall number, and photos that locals and tourists can easily access through an online search. Each hawker stall will also receive a separate pin on Google showing its exact location within the hawker centre, making it easier for visitors to find the stall of their choice.

As these centres are located across Singapore, from the city and recreational districts to HDB estates, operators will be travelling on foot using the new Street View Trekker, which comprises a state-of-the-art 360° camera system mounted on a wearable backpack, to capture the required imagery.

The imagery is expected to be completed and launched on Google Maps by early 2020, for the public to access.

This initiative follows Singapore’s recent nomination submission in March 2019 to inscribe Hawker Culture in Singapore on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, and its documentation of our hawker centres and stalls strengthens the safeguarding of our Hawker Culture for future generations.

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