What kind of fun can you have with Google Street View in Singapore?
Here are some ideas…
With Singapore being so geographically small, I’ve been somewhat puzzled why it has taken so long for Google or Yahoo! to present better mapping services for Singapore. While the low priority could be due to our relatively small market size, there’s definitely no shortage of local GIS developers ready to jump on board. Let’s not forget, with the demand for location-aware mobile applications (e.g. iPhone), there’s bound to be plenty of fresh money to be made in this industry.
If anyone needs a clue, check out these two mavericks who have reworked Google maps into their own design…
Making the case that more Singaporeans require walking rather than driving directions (a current default of Singapore’s Google Map), mapping extraordinaire Jon of Singeo.com.sg has developed isingeo.com for the traveling iPhone user.
For those who us who can’t stand typing on miniscule keyboards, iSingeo lets you pick landmarks from several pulldown menus (obviously find ones near you), then points you on the direction and the time it would take to get there, all through an optimized Google Map iPhone interface.
It’s such a waste of Jon’s immense experience in this field isn’t already being tapped on by Google, Yahoo! and even the local government. Developers like him are willing to contribute to the local online scene, yet are stifled by having to manually chase down the relationships they need.
What if a real interface designer took over Google Maps?
Oh yeah, you get gothere.sg!
As a brainchild of KK, Dominic and Jeremy, gothere.sg was recently redesigned by the talented designer, Jussi Edlund. Most Singaporeans know about gothere.sg, but if you’re not a local, go see. Doesn’t the interface feel finger lickin’ good?
The unique selling point of gothere.sg is how it gives you the kind of contextual information you’d typically from a full featured Google Maps, but is somehow missing from the standard Singapore Google Map. Just as you might experience Google Maps in metropolitan cities like San Francisco, you’ll be able to get the directions, distance, estimated time, as well as cost of public transportation.
There are easter eggs in there if you look hard enough, such as what it tells you when your destination is just a short walk away: “Come on, don’t be lazy, walking is a good form of exercise“. It’s the human touch.
Plenty more features have been added, such as integration with HungryGoWhere.com. Singapore web service providers should quickly hook up with GoThere.sg where they can… I do think that there’s a sore need for a local web ecology.