Street View on Google Maps Comes To Singapore

· · · Press Release, Web

Finally! Street View on Google Maps has landed on our shores, been waiting for years for this!

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. See it for yourself at 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.

Andrew McGlinchey, Google’s Head of Product Management in Southeast Asia said, “Street View has been hugely popular with our Google Maps users worldwide so we’re thrilled to extend our Street View coverage to Singapore. Imagine all the great uses of Street View here, from promoting tourist hotspots to hunting for property to educating students about historic buildings, and of course, getting directions and searching for businesses. Street View will allow locals and visitors to visit places in Singapore they may not have had a chance to experience before.”

Our launch partner, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), is very pleased with Street View’s ability to showcase some of Singapore’s best-loved tourist attractions and hidden gems to a global audience. Said Mr Ken Low, Assistant Chief Executive (Marketing), STB, “STB is very excited by Street View’s marketing potential as it will further raise Singapore’s prominence and reach through the Internet. People unfamiliar with Singapore can now get a first look at our city. The convenience of Google Maps, and the Street View feature, will give people from anywhere in the world a much better idea and picture of what Singapore looks like, and what it has to offer and we welcome private sector initiatives such as these which help us add value to our visitors’ experiences.”

Singaporean businesses and organizations keen to leverage Street View

Many other Singaporean businesses and organisations have already identified significant opportunities for Street View to be used in travel, tourism, house buying and renting, education and helping make small businesses easier to find.

Chris Robb, Managing Director of Spectrum Worldwide, OCBC Cycle Singapore event owner and organizer said, “Spectrum Worldwide and OCBC Cycle Singapore are thrilled to be the first local sporting event to use Google Street View to provide participants with the ability to virtually cycle the routes before event day. Street View will also give OCBC Cycle Singapore supporters an opportunity to find vantage points and see what the cyclists will tackle in March next year.”

Patrick Grove, Executive Chairman, iProperty.com Group said, “We welcome the opportunity to incorporate Street View on our website with the potential of providing a whole new approach for property search in Singapore for our users. Street View could benefit users in selecting the relevant properties to visit by providing detailed visual insights of the surrounding public transport, malls and other amenities. In short, the online property search process becomes less time-consuming, more informative, more efficient and most importantly resulting in smarter decisions made for your dream home.”

PropertyGuru’s Co-founder and Director Steve Melhuish said, “We are looking forward to having Street View on www.PropertyGuru.com.sg as it offers our users a new and unique way to view the location of properties and save time in their search. It’s an amazing tool that will allow our users to see each property and its surroundings and help them get a real feel for the area without having to physically be there. For those who are looking around to buy or rent a home in Singapore, the search just got easier!”

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.

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