By Maureen Kohar
Most of our products revolve around mobility of some kind. We enable people, food, packages, fresh groceries, etc. move from one place to another. Moving things around boils down to understanding the best route, traffic, and locations — and these things are core mapping problems.
Meet the Cartography team, consisting of Product Managers, Engineers, Data Scientists, Data Analysts, and Map Operations that power maps for all Gojek products.
Over 85% of transport pickup locations are users’ detected location, and over 85% of food orders are delivered to the users’ location.
The process is rarely as simple as the user selecting a location and us sending the driver to the selected lat-long. 🤷♀️
“I can’t find my home address on the Gojek app, dropping a pin returns an address that’s not mine. I’m not sure if the driver will be able to find me!”
Sounds familiar? It’s more common than you think. We’ve all been in a situation where we can’t find our exact location on the app, so we chose the closest place and leave notes for the driver. We wait at our pickup point anxiously, while texting the driver specific information on our whereabouts.
That’s where Location Selection comes in. The Location Selection pod helps defining the “wheres”: Where do you want to get picked up? Where do you want to go? Where would you like to have your food delivered to?
To enable a frictionless location selection experience, the location selection pod curates and maintains a comprehensive database of locations, combines the various data sources to seamlessly, and surface them to users in a way that minimises user friction.
Okay, so we’ve set our locations, our Gojek ride is booked, and we’re set to go!
“But wait, is the driver really only 5 minutes away? That seems way too fast for the traffic at this hour, especially with the route he’s taking. If he had gone the other way, he’d arrive faster!”
ETAs are important because it sets expectations: When can we expect our food to arrive so we can eat? When will my ride arrive? ETAs are also highly dependent on the routes suggested and the routes taken.
That’s Routing. The routing pod takes care of how we get from point A to point B, and how long it would take. Behind every Gojek booking, our routing engine is hard at work, not only to get you to your destination but also determines pricing, driver allocation and live tracking to name a few.
The real world is dynamic: New places are popping up, pickup points are shifting, roads are getting restricted and regulations are changing. Our maps need to be able to adapt to the ever-changing environment.
We wouldn’t be able to solve these issues without Map Experiences. The map experiences pod provides internal tooling that allows us to react to on-the-ground changes quickly. Lockdowns were imposed and roads were closed? There’s a system for that. New mall was built and their pickup points aren’t mapped? There’s a portal for that.
The Map Experiences team was especially crucial in 2020, when government regulations were changing frequently in response to the pandemic. Every every lockdown or every road closure meant the team had to work extra hard to get things going smoothly for our customers. 💚
Read more stories from the vault, here.
By the way, did we mention we’re hiring?