Google has struck a new partnership, but it isn't what you'd expect. They're partnering up with the Ministry of Urban Development in India to create a toilet locator. The project is an initiative to help citizens and perhaps anyone traveling in the country find clean toilets to use, which as weird as it may seem sounds like it's more of a challenge to do than people realize. The Google Toilet Locator will aim to track down not only the cleanest toilets, but also those that fit the bill of "clean" and are the nearest to the user who is searching for them.
Although the goal is to have the locator tool be made available to individuals across the country in various cities and towns, the tool will be launched in one region and expand from there. To start, Google and the MoUD will be testing the tool out in the National Capital Region of India, and people will be able to access the new locator tool from within Google Maps, although the tool has not been made available just yet as the plan is reportedly to pilot the feature within maps sometime between now and the end of the November.
While the process to roll these out will be happening over the next few weeks in the NCR to kick things off, it's said that the toilets that can be found with the locator will include both public restrooms and restrooms which are part of other establishments, such as metro stations and malls. According to the International Business Times, the locator tool will be accessible from the Google Maps app, but there was no mention of whether or not it would be accessible from the desktop app. That being said, it doesn't seem like Google would have any reason to limit it to the mobile app, however, mobile device use is a large form of connectivity in the country so it makes sense that the app would be a chose outlet for the toilet locator, especially given that people will likely be out and about when they need to find a clean toilet. The tool inside Maps will allow users to look for toilets nearby and will be able to deliver results if certain keywords like lavatory, swach, swaachhata, and others are used to find them.