Google traffic updates in South Africa
21 June 2012
Motorists in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Pretoria can now plan their commuting by accessing live traffic updates through Google Maps, following the launch
of the service in South Africa.
New users can check traffic conditions by visiting maps.google.co.za
on the traffic layer in the widget on the upper right-hand side of the map.
This traffic information is also available on Google Maps for mobile devices, by
selecting the "view traffic" option in the mobile application.
Google Maps has expanded the traffic service to seven more countries around the globe - Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Mexico, Peru, Romania and South Africa.
It was introduced alongside upgrades in coverage in the 19 countries around the
world which already received the feature.
"The traffic data allows you to see current traffic conditions, and also gives you
times," Google Maps software engineer Matthias Ernst said in a
Live traffic coverage features a colour-coded rating system on a scale from slow to
fast, and uses crowd-sourcing. This means it analyses data such as the speed the
car is moving - which is received from GPS-enabled phone users - and compiles it
into information drivers can use.
"This is exactly the kind of technology that we love at Google because it's so easy
for a single person to help out, but can be incredibly powerful when a lot of people
use it together," said product manager Dave Barth.
"We've already been able to provide useful traffic information with the help of our
existing mobile users, but we hope that is just the start," Barth said. "As GPS-
enabled phones and data plans get less expensive, more people will be able to
It is expected that other South African cities will be able to access the service in
the near future, as Google is
constantly updating and improving their coverage.
"We hope the traffic feature in Google Maps will help more users around the globe to save time and patience by planning their trips accordingly," Ernst said.