More than half a dozen volunteers have banded collectively in India to launch a crowdsourced instrument to assist individuals in the nation determine and find close by grocery stores, pharmacies, and money machines as New Delhi extends the nationwide lockdown to May 3.
The service, known as Covidmaps, permits individuals to find operational grocery stores, pharmacies, money machines in their neighborhood and find up-to-date particulars reminiscent of when the shop opens and closes, the objects it has in inventory, and whether or not the shop depends on a queuing system.
It depends on individuals so as to add new stores, defined Phani Kishan, one of many founding members of Covidmaps, in an interview with . Users are additionally tasked with updating particulars about totally different stores.
India ordered a 21-day nationwide lockdown final month that has restricted individuals’s motion and shut most stores in a bid to comprise the unfold of the coronavirus. On Tuesday, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi prolonged the lockdown to May 3.
Kishan stated seven individuals are at the moment collaborating on Covidmaps, all of whom are engaged on it as a facet venture. At his day job, he works at Swiggy, India’s largest meals supply startup.
The service has already amassed greater than 50,000 guests, together with some from outdoors of India. Covidmaps is at present seeing most traction in Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, and Vancouver.
“People in Delhi and different locations are additionally starting to take part. But it takes a while earlier than there are sufficient stores listed in a neighborhood earlier than the service will get in style there,” stated Kishan, who stated he’s hopeful individuals outdoors India would find it helpful, too.
Kishan stated that some companies in India reminiscent of startup Dunzo has additionally began to make use of Covidmaps as their supply personnel attempt to find stores in totally different localities to serve prospects.
On Monday, Google unveiled Nearby Spot on Maps that permits customers to find some stores in their neighborhood. The firm sources this info when an individual makes use of Google Pay to finish a transaction at a retailer. Kishan stated Google had supplied free credit score to Covidmaps in order that it will possibly use Maps Platform.