Monday, 17th February, 2020


Google Street View uses school kids to map narrow lanes of Dharavi

02, Nov 2014 By farmafeku

Mumbai. After using camels to map the deserts in Arabia, Google Street View has now decided to map down narrow lanes of Dharavi, Mumbai.

“Although, we have conquered the desert challenge by using camels, Dharavi is the biggest task for us in terms of utilizing mapping vehicle in narrow lanes & bylanes,” Google India head told Faking News.


He adds, “We have been thinking on the suitable vehicle to map the streets. For that we have used a lot of prototype bicycles and motorbikes, but nothing seems to work effectively in the snare of Dharavi`s narrow lanes.”

On asking why there is need to do this, he says, after the hit blockbuster “Slumdog millionaire” there has been a surge in count of western tourists who visit these places. By adding street view many of those people who could not afford to visit India can also enjoy this while sitting in their home country.

Based on internet search data, it has been found that in terms of popularity, Dharavi is second to Taj Mahal of Agra

Though Google understands the need to put this street view as early as possible, the challenge of having aprropriate mapping vehicles is deferring them to do so. The maze of street network makes it near to impossible to map every bit and corner.

They saw a ray of hope when they involved a local techie cum cable guy “Abdul Gaaliwala” as a local consultant in this project.

Abdul Gaaliwala delightedly told us that in Dharavi, human intervention was the only way to solve this problem and same was adopted by him. He hired hundreds of school going kids of Dharavi, tied up camera on their heads and asked them to roam around. It was shocking to know that entire Dharavi was mapped by kids in just less than 10 hours and every bit and corner was covered effectively.

This act of mapping helped Google to come out of the toughest situation using cheapest and cleanest way as there was no toxic gas emission from vehicles and no animals were hurt. Earlier they had faced lot of criticism by animal activists for using camels to map the deserts of Arabia.

Google India Head happily told us that it would not have been possible without human intervention and though they at Google often say “Man minimum Machine maximum” this may not hold true in this case.

After this news broke out many Modi supporters claimed that the idea of human intervention came from PM Modi when Google Chief met him in Washington and discussed his problem.