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Abuja with Google Maps: Exploring Nigeria’s capital city with ease

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The Google team at the Abuja City Gate

Moving to a new city for adventure forces one to find out exactly who one is and whom to become. But how does one discover oneself in a big city like Abuja with many road networks? A city where everyone is mindful of strange faces around them as a result of insecurity, language barrier and unforeseen situation? This is exactly where the Google Maps comes handy.

Going on adventures is made a lot easier when one utilises Google Maps, because one can also check in to see things like newly opened restaurants and iconic spots in the area. One can also become a local on the platform as it gives room for users to give reviews of places visited, as well as adding pictures to help others have a brief overview of the location.

Created in 2005 as a guide to navigate through the city, the mobile application has been modified to suit personal preferences. Google Maps has been making the world of navigation and adventure easier and adventurous, especially for tourists. The web application offers navigations, extensive view of streets, route planning and traffic, approximated time a user will spent to get to his destination, among other features. It prevents endless search for locations and also makes local suggestions that would make the location search easier.

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Google Maps helps millions of people to discover, share great places and help boost tourism. And, many modern transportation companies such as Uber, have taken advantage of the various functions of the app, relying on it for their operations.

In 2017, Google added wheelchair accessible entrances to the map and created a way for people to contribute additional accessibility information to the map.

Therefore, as a way of deepening its utilization through awareness creation and education on the many functions of the app, Google Nigeria recently hosted some journalists, bloggers and top Lagos-based brand influencers to explore some of the most beautiful and iconic places in Abuja. The three-day trip tagged AbujaWithGoogleMaps tour, was full of adventures and excitements.

The tour began with a visit to the Millennium Park, the biggest park in Abuja, which was commissioned by Queen Elizabeth II during her visit in 2003. Apart from the absence of aquatic life at the park, which the management said it ended abruptly due to theft, the sight at the park would make visitors fall in love with mother nature in a relaxed atmosphere. At the park, Othman Bello, a self-taught historian and tour guard, guided the team around the park and explained how the locals make their nutritious tiger nut drink popularly known as Kunu Aya.

The team also paid a visit to the Thought Pyramid Art Centre and was welcomed by the Gbagyi dancers (Gbagyi are the indigenous people of Abuja), who entertained the visitors with acrobatic performances. At the gallery, the team participated in a painting demonstration and was asked to choose a Google Doodle to paint.

The team, lead by Head, Google, Communications & Public Affairs (West Africa), Taiwo Kola-Ogunlade, also paid a visit to the Ushafa Pottery Centre at Bwari area council, where traditional clay pots are made and the team was briefly exposed to how pots are crafted. These local potters, who are mostly women, said they had been practicing the art since childhood.

The most adventurous task of the tour was when the team was divided into groups of five with a mandate to reach 11 destinations using the Google Maps. Various clues were placed at different strategic spots, and to find where the next destination was, each group did that by solving each clue. The team ended at Marrakech Restaurant, Wuse 2, Abuja, where they had a taste of Nigerian cuisines.

The Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB) International Golf & Country Club and the Cube Café were the last places to be visited by the before they headed to the Central Park for Paintballing and GoKarting.

Being a Google local guide, with a lot of reviews, your points increase as well as your rank. Google Map also offers newly opened restaurants and hangout spots that fit into personal preferences. This can always be edited by adding your favourite locations to the map, making it easy for fun locations to be suggested to you.
Apart from navigating the city with the help of Google maps, Google photos and Google lens also come in handy. Google Lens has been helping people to find out more about the world around them through their cameras and photographs since its launch in the late 2017. Google Photos is a single place to safely keep a lifetime of memories.

Google Maps goes beyond navigation and location identification; it is a world on its own. With Google Maps, be ready to explore the world.

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