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New maps, features, and more!

Hi Kids! I bet you're wondering why you haven't heard from us in a while, and why, suddenly, the maps look all different and stuff. Well, now that I have your attention, let me explain to you what we've spent our last few months working on. The first thing you'll doubtlessly notice is the new maps. A while back we realized that in order to bring more services, better routing and expand the site further, we'd need our own maps.

Don't take this the wrong way, Google, we love you guys, but Singapore has obviously not been a priority for Google Maps, with missing highways and weird road names. So we actually created our own maps from scratch. This way we've been not only able to fix a lot of the stuff that we thought was not so great about Google Maps (and change the colour theme a bit – do let us know what you think about that), but it also gives us the ability to create a lot more and better services in the near future, so stay tuned.  Oh yeah, it still says Google in the bottom left corner. That's because we use their interface to control our map, but the maps are ours. ;)


  1. Improved driving directions. Apart from the obvious benefit for you guys using the KPE that didn't exist before, we've also included realtime information for the ERP. As seen below, you can now choose the day and time you're setting off and we'll calculate the ERP incurred during the journey. If you don't specify a time and date, we're assuming that you're heading out as soon as you put your shoes on. But you can also set a time or date if you're heading out later, and we'll give you the ERP information for that particular time and date, taking rush hour or public holiday pricing into consideration. Of course, our popular "Try to avoid ERP" remains, if you wanna stay away from ERPs altogether.



  2. Taxi fare estimation. We'll estimate the charges based on the time and location so you're able to take note of all surcharges applicable. You'll be able to compare the "avoid erp" function so you'll know if it's worth the detour to save on the charges, how cool is that? Dial the LTA taxi booking hotline and you're ready to go!



  3. Oh, and there's one more thing, as our buddy Steve Jobs would put it.

    We're releasing panoramic street images. This is something that we initially used to help us create our map, but we figured you'd like it as much as we do. This is still a bit of a work in progress, so it might change a little during the next few weeks. Here's how it works.





    1. Zoom in on the maps and a camera button will appear on the top right of the maps. Turn it on.

    2. Move your mouse cursor around the map and you'll see a camera on the roads where images are available.

    3. Give it a click and you'll see the street image, you can pan around by dragging the image like you would on the map.

    4. Click on "Back to map" button at the top right corner to get back to the maps.

    The images are limited and do not cover the whole of Singapore (yet) and the placement might not be super accurate, so don't use them to navigate. Just use the maps, ok?



That's all for now (we think – we've been up for three days straight). Hope it'll make your life a little easier and more fun. If you have any feedback we'll be happy to listen, after we get some food and a couple of hours of sleep. And do stay tuned for more updates. Later!

30 comments:

  • FoxTwo

    You guys rock! New maps look funny at first, but I'm sure it's something we'll need to get used to.

  • Andy Croll

    You built your own maps?

    Any insight into how you did that? Pen and paper? One of those yellow surveying things and a shedload of patience?

    Be fascinated to know.

  • jussi

    @Andy Croll: It basically involves a car, a gps unit and lots and lots of patience.

  • Andy Croll

    That then is a spectacular labour of love... congratulations.

  • Jorbb

    This is an amazing update. Was wondering why your maps looked different yesterday when searching for google maps and gothere.sg for Queen Street Bus terminal - ban san street (it's not in gothere).

    You guys seriously love your work. Kudos on the street view, perhaps UGC could help with adding more pics, but watch out for privacy issues.

  • dominic

    @Jorbb: Thanks for the heads up, it's on the map but not searchable just yet. It'll be updated shortly.

  • krisandro

    COOL! Always been a big fan of you guys. Carry on the good work!

  • Shaylee

    how about carpark charges next? =)

  • dominic

    @Shaylee: Try clicking on one of those cutesy car park icons on the map! =)

  • Christopher

    That's very good work you have there and a tremendous amount of effort ! Was an omnidirectional camera used ?

    It will be even better if one is able to navigate in street view a la google maps.

    With the amount of data you have collected you can use it for more advanced applications.
    Given the density of roads in Singapore, it will be cool for someone on the road to simply take a picture of the environment (with the handphone for example) and your server returns the geographic location by matching images with your database.

  • KK

    @christopher Everything we used are consumer stuff, things you can buy in Sim Lim, nothing stolen from NASA.

    Until we get our act together, navigation through images will have to wait, and for the final idea, yes we'll try to find more cool stuff to do with those pictures since we spent so much effort collecting them.

  • Veron

    (I left a message on Kian Khai's Twitter, but I feel compelled to say something here too.)

    Bravo!!!

    The first thing I noticed was how different the maps look from before (noticed the new camera feature too). It's a stark contrast from the Google maps, and it's so much better! Can't believe you guys actually built them yourselves! Like what Andy said, it's truly a "spectacular labour of love".

    My only question is - how are you EVER going to outdo this one? (It's already pretty darn perfect.)

  • KK

    @veron We do have other crazy ideas floating around, and when we look at the leaders are doing, we know this is nowhere near the end.

    little hint: think real time info and mobile...

  • Sparklette

    Do I smell an iPhone app?

  • KK

    Sadly Apple can be a bit slow when dealing with new developers with no connections like us....

  • Sparklette

    In any case, GoThere maps are quite positively the best thing I've ever implemented on a blog. And that's saying a lot with the hundreds of plugins, add-ons, etc I've played with :)

    For a company so young, you guys have done a remarkably beautiful job.

  • Mervyn

    i think mobile is a good idea and i know which company could help u..

  • Wong

    I suggest implementing the edit route function like google maps where we can actually move the route to our preferred one.

    Apart from this, it wins google maps hands down.

  • Linus

    hey Kian Khai,
    Congrats on this "secret" project you guys have been working on. Glad to see the new features!
    = )

  • Shaylee

    cools for the carpark =))

    another suggestion, though duno how possible...

    say i wanna go to point B, C and D from point A

    can i type these 4 locations and then the most convenient route can be generated?

    e.g. from hougang i need to go to buy things from yishun, cck and marine parade. which route would be the shortest?

  • blucat

    I LOVE gothere! I was a faithful streetdirectory.com fan & user but it just took too long to come back and even if it did any moment now, I'm hooked on gothere! I love your cabfare calculations. Accurate. Am amazed. And in love. THANK YOU!

  • ZQtUoI4TnYxmsjx3xNyD.paRjUUc8yHmBevvHZK8bwo-

    Wow .. cool..! How long it look to build up the 'Street View' photos database?

  • wirelessed

    perhaps can improve on the drawing of expressway intersections. for e.g. it is quite difficult to see the flyovers of PIE/KPE and CTE/PIE and how they intersect, and whether it's possible to go from one direction to another, as it is quite overlapped and messy now.

  • Matt

    Just wanted to you guys to know that your work is well appreciated! Can't wait for the kick ass mobile version in the future.

  • kanigi

    Great work! Loving it. =)

  • HanSolo

    It's a pity that most people would think that you're using Google maps..

  • Jaryl

    @Han Solo: They are using Google Maps, but they aren't using Google's maps. Platform and data are different things.

    The maps are looking good!

  • Kreator

    There is no Jurong West St 92 on your new maps. It was there in google maps. Can you add it in?

  • KK

    @Kreator
    It actually does exist, just that the road name is getting blocked by other stuff.

    Jurong West St 92

    We're fixing quite a bit of stuff now, so by the next update, the beloved Jurong West Street 92 will relive and see the world.

  • Shaylee

    allow searches for detour routes please? thank you!

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