My Google Map Blog

Tag: UK






A safe space that’s made to measure

by Charles-Antoine de Leiris (he/him) on Jun.28, 2021, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

Finding a safe and welcoming space to create a bespoke outfit can be really challenging, especially when you have your own vision for your wedding day or another special occasion. While traditional tailors are great, they can sometimes fall short for people who don’t want the usual three-piece suit or long trailing dress. 


But luckily, there’s Orhan Kaplan. 


Orhan London Tailoring is an East-London based business that has carved a niche through its bespoke LGBTQ+ tailoring service. Having founded the business with his wife, Denise, Orhan soon discovered a strong unmet demand within the LGBTQ+ community from people who wanted to choose something other than a standard wedding dress. Recognising the needs of the community has helped shape their product offering, and celebrating their customers’ individuality has made women’s suits and non-binary tailoring a key part of their business. 


As a tailoring and alterations business, being visible and accessible is fundamental for success. With their Business Profile on Google, casual shoppers who need simple alterations are able to find Orhan London Tailoring easily on Maps, while customers who need extended bookings for bespoke creations are able to swiftly organise appointments. 


However, for more specialised services, such as those for their LGBTQ+ customers, Orhan and his team recognised that an often overlooked community needed something else beyond simply being able to find the business online. They needed an indicator so that LGBTQ+ people would know it’s a safe and welcoming place. 

Becoming active allies

Communicating outwardly that Orhan London Tailoring is a safe space with dedicated service for the LGBTQ+ community has since become a top priority for the business. “We want people to know it’s a safe environment,” says Denise. “We want people to know that we can look after you, we understand your needs, and that we know the sort of things you’re going to ask for.''


Activating the “LGBTQ-friendly” attribute on their Business Profile has allowed Orhan to reassure the community that this is a welcoming environment. Sharing photos on their profile has also become an important part of this relationship, as potential customers are able to see other outfits the team have created for other members of the community. The positive reactions from customers, and a 75% increase in the number of women’s outfits ordered over the last three years, has been a testament to Orhan’s inclusive approach. 

An animation showing a Business Profile on Google Maps on a smartphone screen, showing the LGTBTQ-friendly attribute.

Connecting with the community, with help from Google

The LGBTQ-friendly feature gives businesses like Orhan London Tailoring a way to show potential customers they are inclusive and welcoming to the LGBTQ+ community – something which is more important than ever as businesses reopen after the COVID-19 pandemic.


According to Stonewall’s 2017 LGBT in Britain research, 1 in 7 LGBTQ+ people report experiencing discrimination because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity when in a shop or department store. With the LGBTQ-friendly attribute, along with other inclusive attributes such “transgender safespace” and “gender-neutral restroom,” businesses are able to visibly signal that they are a safe space to users on Google Search and Maps.


For Joseph Crouch, Marketing Manager at Orhan London tailoring, these small actions are powerful markers to those who are looking for them, and have encouraged more LGBTQ+ customers to come in-store: “It’s these little things that give our customers the confidence to come and make the step.”

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I’m using Google Maps to plan summer family fun

by Katie Malczyk on Aug.11, 2020, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

Due to COVID-19, this is the summer for staycations and local day trips. In London, where my family and I live, we’re trying to figure out what that looks like for us. We have a toddler, so our ideal day trip is somewhere she can run around and we can have a picnic—and where the public restrooms have reopened (or, failing that, a discreet wooded area…). 

So how do I find a destination that checks all our boxes? Here’s what’s worked.

Screenshot of Weald Country Park Google Maps listing


Meet at a fun halfway point

My cousin and her family live about a two-hour drive from us, and when lockdown lifted we were more than ready to meet up. But instead of driving all the way to them—a four-hour round trip is a struggle for even the most patient of toddlers—we had the idea to meet up at a halfway point. 


But how do you find that halfway point? That space between us was a no-man’s land where neither of us knew of any parks or nature reserves or anywhere that would be suitable for two energetic toddlers. So I used Google Maps to find the rough halfway point. Then I filtered by “Attractions” (you can also choose “Parks” or “Restaurants” or other categories) to see what came up. I quickly landed on Weald Country Park, which boasts a 4.5-star rating, almost a thousand reviews and a promising description: “Fallow deer, a visitor center & hiking.”

Screenshot of reviews of Weald Country Park


Read the reviews

Deer-watching had the potential to keep toddlers occupied for at least one minute. A visitor center indicated parking and bathrooms. And hiking probably meant that picnicking was easily an option. But to double-check these critical questions, I relied on the kindness of strangers who had posted recent reviews and ratings. Local Guides and other people who contribute to Google Maps are very helpful in offering information about how much they liked (or didn’t like) their trip, and many of them have the same topics on their mind that I do. Since you can sort reviews by date, it was easy to see the most relevant ones—i.e., those that have been filed since lockdown lifted—for current info on toilets (yes), parking (yes, but it’s expensive), and whether the playgrounds have reopened (yes, very recently). 

Screenshot of photos from Weald Country Park


Browse the photos and Street View

To really get a feel for a place, sometimes there’s no replacement for a photo. Happily, many Google Maps contributors feel the same way, so it’s often very easy to find recent photos of the places you’re thinking of visiting. And for a 360-degree panorama, I can drop the pin and check out the scene on Street View. I soon discovered that, in addition to deer, Weald Country Park is home to cows and ducks, making it more or less heaven on earth for two two-year-olds.

Screenshot of list of saved places

Save places and make lists

I know that we’ll want to meet up with my cousin’s family again soon, and there were a few other nearby nature reserves that looked equally promising. So I tapped the “Save” button to start a list I could refer back to. I can even share it with my cousin so we can work on the list together. Google Maps puts a pin in them too, so the next time I’m scouting the area I’ll see little flags helpfully highlighting them for me.


Contribute your own review

If you found someone’s review or photos helpful, why not pay it forward by posting your own? If you’ve found information that needs updating, like a store’s opening hours, or if you want to let people know how your experience of a place matched up to expectations, click on the Contribute button at the bottom of the screen on the Google Maps app and share your knowledge.

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