Lagos in Google land

Last month, the tech and content community was agog when Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai stormed Lagos for the Google for Nigeria event. There were loads of google products and initiatives on showcase. However, it was Street View on Google Maps that provided the “ahaa!” moment.

Street view has now launched with Lagos as the pioneer state. So far, more than 10,000 kilometers of imagery (in other words the size of VI, Ikoyi and Lekki) in Lagos State had been launched with the service.  In addition, more than a million buildings in both commercial and residential areas had been added to the app. Nigeria is making a rather late debut on Google Street View as Google started collecting images from African countries like Tanzania, South Africa, Botswana, Uganda, Ghana and Senegal as far back as September, 2009. But who cares, the patient dog eats the latest bone, right?

Google Street View is a web based application that allows you to take a virtual road trip around Lagos State from any connected device. In other words, you can check if that your colleague who is always bragging really lives in the mansion he claims to live in, or if the address that guy you met on Facebook gave you, really checks out.

Navigating around Lagos really is not for the fainthearted, with even the most hardcore Lagosians getting lost from time to time. Now Uber and Taxify drivers or even delivery guys really have no excuse when they try to waste your time in the name of looking up directions.This is also great news for businesses in Nigeria as they have now literally been put on the map. When you look up a restaurant or store online, you already know what it looks like.

Now, while Street View and the possibilities it affords businesses are rather exciting, there are a few concerns that cannot be ignored.

As with every good thing, there’s always a dark side. With the rise in the kidnapping and the recent capture of the notorious kidnapper, Evans, if you are concerned about what this means for your safety, you are not alone. Also, you really can’t hide anymore, anybody can just show up on your doorstep. I smell bad market for fake
“Lagos big boys”.

All in all, it would definitely be interesting to see where this goes and how much we utilize the possibilities it affords us – for good and hopefully not for bad.

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