December 31, 2009

Google on a road trip in Singapore!



Last week (19th November) Google collaborated with the Singapore's Land Transport Authority (LTA) to help commuters get to their destination around Singapore faster and easier with the new Google maps feature uniquely for Singapore!


The Google Map API is now customized thoroughly for Singapore because of the introduction of special features like mapping, directions and route planning by giving transit information. To take it one step further, you can use the above tools on Google maps for mobile and thereby can make the most up to minute choice for your route.


Under this collaborative effort, LTA will provide key transit and traffic information such as live traffic feeds and public bus/MRT routes and schedules. Google combined the high quality of LTA's transit data, and worked with Quantum Inventions, a Singapore company, to integrate traffic data, on the popular and familiar user interface of Google Maps.


With the help of the above, if I request for directions to a particular destination, I will be given an option to plan the same trip using public transport incase certain routes are congested which will be highlighted in red. Certainly a great thing as I can manage my time much better.


The features are very easy to use due to mapplets which are useful mini-applications developed by third parties that can be added directly on to Google Maps Singapore. With just a single click of the mouse, you can customize their Google Maps by adding useful tools created just for Singapore.


They are other interesting mapplets which are very useful for the public which can be found in the My Maps directory including petrol station finder, carpark finder, highway cameras and more.



Yes, we can see that the technology is great but not all great technologies are the most successful. And not all great technologies are flawless.. Let's take an example- There is a website called gothere.com, through which Singapore commuters can get to choose between different routes too. Now for some routes " Great Google" gave us .. rather long and silly routes wherein this local website gave me the best possible route. So I guess one can't totally rely on Google's gizmo application to make the best decision for us- atleast not yet.





The one aspect highlighted above which runs strategically through all Google launches is marketing- Google at it's very best! By forming “strategic partnerships “aka collaborations with powerful entities and launching it’s product features in a "glamorous” manner, we hope to see the common man leveraging on this technology.





For now, we can only wait and watch to see how much the commuter will use the Google Maps for this. Yes, Singapore has a high standard of living and we see a number of people using the i-phone technology and there is free wireless in the city. But in the past similar technologies and gadgets were developed by MS too which didn't hit the market too well in it's reach..



Interested to know more? Come and join us for Google Maps &Earth event on 5th December and meet Mr. Ritesh Kalra who's company invesnted the above technology. He will b discussing briefly on : “Online Delivery System, a Computing Innovation and Design Project”