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. ;)
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.
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!
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.
Zoom in on the maps and a camera button will appear on the top right of the maps. Turn it on.
Move your mouse cursor around the map and you'll see a camera on the roads where images are available.
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.
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!