If you are using Google Map Singapore this morning, you might notice a new feature that comes in a yellow person icon. Yes, the Street View that was launched in 2007 is now available here, featuring 360-degree views of street level imagery. Check it out on maps.google.com.sg/streetview
Derek Callow, Head of Marketing, Google SEA; Andrew McGlinchey, Head of Product Management, Google SEA; and Ken Low, Assistant Chief Executive (Marketing), Singapore Tourism Board (STB) were at the morning event to announce the launch of the Street View in Singapore.
You can also use Google Street View on your mobile phones. On HTC Android phones with the compass feature, you can access the 360-degree imagery without the need to touch and drag the screen; simply position the phone to the direction you want and it will show you the view from that direction automatically.
You can also have a split screen on Street View and the map view which is especially useful for drivers who want to know the way and identify the landmarks and buildings while on the road.
And here’s the press release…
Singapore, December 2, 2009 – Google today announced the launch of Street View in Singapore, allowing users to view and navigate 360 degree street-level imagery of Singapore. Taken by Street View cars along all public roads earlier this year, the imagery includes iconic locations like Orchard Road, Marina Bay and Clarke Quay; cultural areas like Chinatown, Little India and Kampong Glam; and the heartland like Tampines, Jurong and Woodlands. In addition to viewing the images on your PC, Street View can be accessed on your mobile phone, meaning you now have a virtual photo-based street guide of Singapore in your pocket (maps.google.com.sg).
First launched in May 2007, Street View is hugely popular worldwide and is available in more than 100 metropolitan areas around the world. Singapore is the first country in Southeast Asia to get Street View and the fourth country in Asia Pacific after Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
In areas where Street View is available, you can access street-level imagery by zooming into the lowest level on Google Maps, or by dragging the orange “Pegman” icon on the left-hand side of the map onto a blue highlighted street. You can check out a restaurant before arriving, make travel plans, arrange meeting points, get a helping hand with geography homework, or just explore and get to know Singapore better. The coolest way to use Street View is on smartphones so users can do all of this fun stuff on-the-go, anytime, anywhere.
Organisations can also benefit from the Street View technology by putting a business listing on Google Maps for free or embedding Google Maps directly into their websites at no charge. The street-level imagery of their location can help them to promote and increase awareness of their business – whether its a chain of restaurants, a library, a local attraction or even a new hotel. For more tips and videos about using Street View in Singapore, visit maps.google.com.sg/streetview.
The winner of the Street View Trike online vote is…
Google and STB also announced the winners of the online poll in which the Singapore public voted for the best tourist attractions to be photographed by the Street View trike. Google received thousands of suggestions and votes over the past month and the top winner in each of the four voting categories are: Chinatown, Pagoda Street and Mosque Street for ‘Cultural Areas’; the Southern Ridge, Henderson Wave Bridge, Hort Park and Kent Ridge for ‘Hidden Gems’; Sentosa’s beaches and trails for ‘Natural Wonders’; and the Quays (Robertson, Clarke, Boat) and the Fullerton for ‘The City’.
And the top spot goes to… Sentosa, Asia’s favourite playground, which received the most number of votes to be hailed as Singapore’s most popular tourist attraction! These top voted locations will get a visit from the trike first while it is here in Singapore. The images it collects will later appear in Street View to help millions of Google users in Singapore and all over the world get a special view of some of Singapore’s famous attractions and inspire them to visit the attractions for themselves.
Privacy features built into Street View
Google has also gone to great lengths to safeguard privacy while allowing all Singaporean users to benefit from Street View. Street View only contains imagery that is already visible from public roads and features technology that blurs both faces and licence plates. In addition, any user can easily flag images for removal that he or she considers inappropriate by clicking on “Report a problem”. Google has consulted extensively with many privacy and community groups around the world in developing these privacy features and safeguards.