Wanted: Hong Kong MTR exit labels for Google Maps


While Google Maps provides an impressive list of features (draggable maps, zoom & embed function, street views), one vital piece of information about Hong Kong remains missing from as of this writing: MTR exit labels.

For locals who often use these subway facilities, it may not be very significant. But for tourists, this is a vital piece of information they can access anywhere through their mobile phones. The city’s growing trend of relying on information provided by smartphones makes the need even more pressing. Without this MTR exit labels feature, tourists and newcomers have to rely on staring at large vicinity maps ironically placed near MTR exits or guide maps that sometimes don’t include MTR exits anyway.

Should Google Maps include this feature, the same as Wikipedia does on articles about each of the MTR stations, it will be a timesaver not just for tourists but locals unfamiliar with certain stations. If placement of business listings through Google Maps is possible, won’t the addition of MTR exit labels even expedite a customer’s time to reach that shop?

It’s not that Google is not aware of it. An employee named Amanda L. acknowledged the need and has escalated the request to Google’s engineering team. Two weeks later, she was happy to report some progress but also hinted delays of feature launch as the project requires more time to fine-tune and remove bugs. 

But until Google Maps featuring subway exits gets launched, we always have the old reliable Centamap.com maps that feature MTR exits. Not as easy to use as Google Maps but nevertheless provides us information we need.