After YouTube Kids, is Google Maps next for the child-friendly treatment?

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Google is developing a version of its popular Maps tool aimed specifically at kids, reports suggest.

Such a move wouldn’t come as too much of a surprise — Pavni Diwanji, the Web giant’s VP of engineering, said at the end of last year the company was keen to roll out child-oriented editions of its most popular products, with its first effort, YouTube Kids, hitting app stores in February.

A recent job posting on its site, spotted over the weekend by Business Insider, suggests that Maps could be next in line for a child-friendly makeover. The job opening concerns a legal role responsible for “a mixed portfolio of work across Geo and Google’s efforts to make our products more useful to kids.”

It continues: “In this role, you’ll work with Product Managers, Engineers, and other Geo Product Counsels on a variety of Geo consumer and developer products. You’ll work closely with teams from a wide range of product areas as they explore products designed to delight and enrich kids.”

Google’s yet to offer any tidbits on what such an app might offer, but we’re guessing it could be along the lines of Barefoot World Atlas, an iPhone and iPad app that lets kids explore the planet via a colorful, information-rich globe featuring a ton of 3D illustrations, animations, spoken explanations, sound effects, and music specific to different regions. It also offers real-time information from around the world, such as local time and weather conditions, features that Google could easily work into its own such offering.

Speaking last December in an interview with USA Today, Diwanji said the Mountain View company had been persuaded “to change our products to be fun and safe for children” after noticing an increasing number of Googlers were starting families.

YouTube Kids appears to have been largely well received by children and parents, although several consumer groups have raised a number of concerns over some of its content.

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