Google Wants To Teach You How To Say Places Like A Local

Happy Birthday Google Maps!

During its 10 years of life, Google Maps has become the standard for many smartphone users. That doesn’t mean it’s perfect, but it’s certainly at or near the top choices. “If you hopped in your DeLorean for a trip back to 2004, you’d remember the days when we were all dependent on paper maps, print-outs, post-its and sometimes even a compass for directions! Getting from point A to B is something we do all day, every day — from finding the fastest way to get to work, to dropping the kids off on a carpool route, to meeting friends for drinks at a new spot — so it should be as easy as possible,” the Maps team states.

businessman lost in field using a mapAlong with the purpose of helping people to get directions, Google Maps also wants to be friends with travellers, helping them to get the hang of local pronunciations before they even board their plane.

According to our resource, Google was awarded a patent, which details how Google could determine the most common pronunciation of a place name from audio clips submitted by locals, then offer that pronunciation when someone searches for the place on Google Maps. This function could be handy when traveling in a foreign country. For example, Worcester is  the name of a city in the UK, and also of one in South Africa and ten places in the US — and it’s pronounced slightly differently in each region.

Backpackers-and-Travellers-Taking-Pictures-of-MountainsTechnically, Google’s proposed system would process all the pronunciation suggestions it receives from locals to determine which sounds were most common, and then overlay an audio file of the prototypical pronunciation on that location of a map for a user to click on.

We thank you for your great work, Google Maps!

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