Google Maps Turns on Traffic and Transit for Malaysia

Google Malaysia introduced three major enhancements to Google Maps that allow Malaysian commuters to better plan their journeys and to look up real time information: two new layers — Traffic and Transit — and a Bahasa Malaysia interface. All of these are available on the desktop and mobile versions of Google Maps.

First, the Traffic on Google Maps provides data on real time road congestion right on the map. By turning on the Traffic layer on Maps, users can quickly see whether roads are congested or flowing freely based on colour coding — red for choc-a-bloc, yellow for slow moving, and green for smooth flowing. Drivers that are fairly well-versed with the roads can also use the information to plan alternative routes to their destination.

Next, Transit provides information on travel via the Malaysian public transportation system on Google Maps. Now, in areas with available transit data, whenever a user selects directions, say, from A-to-B, there is a third new option in addition to the familiar walking and driving directions. Maps users can view the step-by-step public transportation information which includes bus, LRT, monorail and Komuter travel options. Users can also see where bus stops and train stations are located.

Transit provides a more sustainable option for Malaysians looking to reduce traffic congestion and get around town by using public transportation. Users can also plan ahead by setting their departure time to make sure they get back at a specific time.

Finally, Google Maps is now available in Bahasa Malaysia, giving Malay native speakers better accessibility and the option of interfacing and navigating with Google Maps using the language they are most comfortable with. With 60 per cent of Malaysians using Bahasa Malaysia as their primary language and with over 90 per cent proficiency in the language nationwide, this localisation initiative should make it easier for Malaysians to get the most from Maps.

“Malaysians commute a lot, and these enhancements add a new level of usability to Google Maps for Malaysians, making it easier to look up information, move around the country, and get from point A to B quickly and with minimum hassle and fuss,” said Google Malaysia country manager Sajith Sivanandan. “The new enhancements also go hand in hand with Google’s mission to organise the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful while enhancing, improving and localising our products and services.”

Traffic and Transit for Maps data comes from a variety of sources, including government departments of transportation, private data providers, and users of Google Maps for mobile who contribute anonymous speed information through Google’s traffic crowdsourcing feature.

Launched in 2009, Google Maps has been helping Malaysian users find local geographic information – online maps, topographical information, satellite imagery, driving directions, addresses and businesses listings – on their desktop, tablets and mobile phones.

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