2019 Winners & Shortlists


Short List
Product/ServiceQIBLA FINDER
CategoryActivation by Location or Proximity


Millions of muslims around the world turn to Mecca every day for prayer. One of the top questions on Google, particularly during Ramadan is “What’s the direction of the Qibla?”, which is the direction Muslims turn to at prayer time. Users often look for a website or an app to point them in the right direction but the experience is suboptimal and inaccurate. To answer their question, we launched Qibla Finder, a web app that uses augmented reality and geolocation technology to show you the direction to Qibla wherever you are in the world on your mobile device (g.co/QiblaFinder). The Qibla Finder uses the latest in augmented reality to paint a clear blue line to Mecca within the imagery your phone camera sees. We have enabled offline usage for users and a shortcut to add Qibla Finder to their Android home screen, so they can locate Mecca at anytime.

Describe the creative idea.

To help users find the direction to Qibla wherever they are, we launched the Qibla Finder on a web app which users can access directly on their mobile devices from Google Search. The users simply have to hold up their phone and the Qibla Finder would show them the direction to Mecca. To verify that the web app displayed the most accurate distance and direction to the Qibla, we used Haversine formula which determines the great-circle distance between two points on a sphere given their longitudes and latitudes. We integrated augmented reality within the Qibla Finder to provide users with a great experience and paint a clear blue line towards Kaaba within the imagery of their mobile camera. To ensure users have accessibility, we enabled offline usage, added a shortcut on Android home screens and made sure the app is live at all times.

Describe the strategy.

During the month of Ramadan more than 60 million people worldwide search to find the direction of Qibla. To help users find the right direction to pray towards and celebrate the millions of Muslims around the globe searching for the same destination, we built the Qibla Finder. We collaborated with our engineering team to find the most accurate distance and direction to the Qibla using Haversine formula and created a simple blue line to Mecca. The platform was designed for a great experience on Mobile using Augmented Reality and accessing the Android Camera to help point users in the right direction towards Mecca. Through the use of Augmented Reality and Google Maps technology, we developed Qibla Finder and demonstrated local relevance to millions of users active during this moment and connected Muslims with shared interests across the globe.

Describe the execution.

To be able to design the Qibla Finder as a web app on Mobile devices our product engineers worked to ensure the accuracy of the Qibla direction being shown to users. We took the GPS and compass in a smartphone device, combined with the time of day and an accelerometer, and calibrated it against the curvature of the Earth using Haversine Formula. Using this Formula which gives the perfect great circle distance on a globe we curated a simple, clear blue line to Mecca that works wherever the user is. The Qibla Finder was built for anyone around the world to access through their mobile devices at any time during the day and wherever they are. Its simplicity and availability online and offline makes it accessible for all users. The web app uses augmented reality to paint a clear blue line through the imagery of the mobile camera and provide users with a great and simple experience which encourages repeated usage. Qibla Finder was marketed to all muslims across the globe on digital platforms and through a launch video to spread awareness to users in regards to the platform’s features.

List the results

Over 4M users found the Qibla using the web app during Ramadan and 45% of them are becoming repeated visitors.


Name Company Role
Najeeb Jarrar Google Marketing Manager
Chaza Merchak Google Marketing Manager
Rosie Andrews Google Producer
Bradley Griffiths Google Technology Director
Jimmy Tidey Google Technical Director
Andre Le Masurier Google Creative Director
Lou Trethewey Google Production Manager
Maryam Zarrinjouei Google Marketing Manager
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