UNR to probe why Google Maps lacks minority-owned business data | nnbw.com

UNR to probe why Google Maps lacks minority-owned business data

NNBV staff
Dr. Gi Woong Yun
Courtesy UNR

RENO, Nev. — A “more accurate online map of minority-owned businesses” in Northern Nevada will be available this fall, according to the University of Nevada, Reno.

Dr. Gi Woong Yun, director for the Center for Advanced Media Studies at the Reynolds School of Journalism, reportedly received a Google Research Award earlier this year to determine why Google Maps lacks data for businesses owned, managed by or catering to minority groups.

According to a news release from the university, Yun and investigators Dr. Donica Mensing and Dr. Sung-Yeon Park will focus on identifying the psychological and social barriers that often prevent minority entities from registering with Google Maps and proposing remedies to overcome those barriers.

The research will also include the mapping of those underrepresented entities in northern Nevada.

“If we can find strategies that can improve minority business presence online, including maps, search and others, minority business owners can utilize such strategies to be more visible,” Yun said in a statement.

The research will also include developing a process in which location-based database tools like Google Maps can be used to help minority communities build their communities from within, according to UNR.

Both the improved mapping of minority-owned businesses and a set of processes to help make the technology accessible are intended to encourage more prosperous and easily accessible minority-owned businesses in the northern Nevada business community.

Go to journalism.unr.edu for more information about the Reynolds School of Journalism.