There’s no doubt that Singaporeans are serious about their food. But as much as we love to eat, researching for the best bites in and about the hawker centres on the little red dot can be confounding at times. By early 2020, however, all your favourite hawkers from across 114 hawker centres islandwide can be found on Google Street Maps.
The joint initiative between Google, the National Environmental Agency (NEA), the National Heritage Board (NHB) and the Federation of Merchants’ Associations (FMAS) comes timely as the nation had recently submitted a nomination dossier on hawker culture into UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in March 2019.
Starting with Chinatown Market, Geylang Serai Market, Tekka Market, Maxwell Food Centre and Golden Mile Food Centre amongst others, Google will collect indoor imagery from across the hawker centres on foot via the Street View Trekker, a state-of-the-art 360-degree camera system. These images, along with a separate pin on Google detailing the exact location of each stall, will be accessible to the public early next year.
“This project is beneficial to the hawker community as it will help customers to locate hawker stalls with ease,” says Mr Lim Gek Meng, Vice-President of FMAS and Chairman of the Chinatown Complex Hawkers’ Association. “Also, with an online presence, hawkers are able to reach out to more customers, at no cost and with little effort.”