Users will now be able to read name labels of historical monuments, localities, important roads, public parks, schools, etc in both Hindi and English. At present the Hindi labels visible on Google Maps were generated by transliterating the English names into Hindi. Google claims that efforts were made to ensure the text resonates with local dialects.
To try out the new maps, desktops users can change their language preferences to Hindi on the Google account settings page or by selecting the “Hindi” option at the bottom of the page on the google.co.in homepage. As for Android users this update applies to Android 4.3 and above. Users need to update the Google Maps app, then select the Hindi option from the “Language and Input” menu in the phone’s settings. The Hindi name labels will be visible directly on the map for cities, localities, important roads, and other popular points of interest like public parks and schools.
In the blog post Google mentions that transliteration isn’t the most accurate method to capture the nuances of a language, and encourages users to submit corrections through the Report a problem link, visible on the bottom right-hand side of Google Maps or via Google Map Maker.
While Google has officially launched Hindi maps today, it looks like Google had been experimenting with this back in 2012. A user had posted on the Google Product Forum in 2012, complaining that Google Maps had recently started appearing in Hindi.
MapmyIndia had launched Hindi maps of 10 Indian cities in November 2013. The location based services and maps company also offered voice guidance in 9 Indic languages, including Hindi.
Other Google services and apps with support for Hindi
- Last year, in October Google introduced Hindi handwriting support for Gmail and Google Drive.
- Two months earlier, in August Google updated the Google Translate Android app and introduced handwriting support for Hindi. However, an active internet connection on the phone was necessary to make use of this service. The Google Translate website also added handwriting support for Hindi.
- The Hindi handwriting support was extended to Google Search in the same month.
- In July 2013, Google released Android 4.3 ‘Jelly Bean, with system wide support for Hindi. A few months earlier, in March, Google had launched a released a text input app called Google Hindi Input for Android phones.