I was invited to LTA and Google Collaboration Event. The moment I heard about it, I was thinking Google Maps and Street View. So, one night before the event, I tested the functions on my Google Maps mobile. I was delighted to know that the Live Traffic information had been turned on. Too bad, Street View availability is still a mystery.The event was held at Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station. Press Release can be found HERE
As usual, Google landmarked the event with a red pin. It was my first time to attend an event at a MRT Station. The event registration started at 9:30am and the security was quite tight. We were allowed only a few areas to take our pictures. Example like the stage and the Demonstration Stations. There were security and police all around us.
Here are a few shots of the demo station and the new features on Singapore Google Maps.
As you can see below, Google Maps is now able to link up with LTA information on buses, MRT information.
You can try it yourself at: –
The event started at 10am. Suddenly, DK mentioned that all PA system stop announcing over the air. It was a very quiet moment at the station.
It was a very simple stage. The event started and I can see many of us are getting ready to Tweet.
A welcome speech, followed by a speech from Mr. Yam Ah Mee, Chief Executive of LTA (Land Transport Authority). He talked about LTA vision of commuters able to seamlessly integrate into the different transport systems and how Tourists can plan their route even before reaching Singapore.
Next up, Mr. Ed Parsons, Geospatial Technologist from Google Inc. He mentioned that Singapore is blessed to have such a nice integrated Transport system.
Demonstration time by Mr. Andrew McGlinchey, Head of Product Management, Google Southeast Asia. He based on a scenario of two person meeting and using the functions of Google Maps (Latitude, Directions, Search) to get to the place while at the same time, search for things in the vincinity.
Here is a live demo using a HTC Android phone.
And here is screenshot of how Google can even integrate the Park Connectors in Singapore. Just do a search and you are able to find it. Also, you can see live information of incidents on the road, ERP charges or you can even plan a trip out of the country and Google Maps will route for you.
After the demo, we have a few minutes of photography apportunity.
Next, the Questions and Answer Session.
I noted down a few questions and answers which I think is interesting.
1. Street view?
No launch date yet but public can vote for the route that Google Trike will travel.
2. Collabration details of Google and LTA?
Just a simple collaboration. LTA has been partnering with many other partners like Gothere.sg, Quantum Inventions and etc. So, LTA is open to any collaborations and at the end of the day, can enhance and improve the transport system that will benefit the everyone.
3. Integration of Bus Stop information on Google Maps?
No, at this moment. LTA is working closely with IBM to enhance the current prediction based on Traffic Condition and timing and etc.
4. How do business get onto Google Map (e.g to be in their search results)
Google has a set of algorithm that will determine. However, the base line is that if the business is popular (more search requests and etc), it will probably be in the Google Maps. Alternatively, businesss owners can also provide information to Google (subjective).
The Questions and Answers lasted for 15 minutes. We were encouraged to try the demonstration and to ask questions to any of the people around.
You can also click here for the Press Releases and other information. Check out the information on Crowd Sourcing and etc that Google is collecting. Good stuff.
BTW, Here is the CEO of Quantum Inventions (The person in blue shirt).
While making our way out of the MRT station, we were greeted by the friendly Google guys who were walking round the station to let people understand more about Google Maps on mobile.
BTW, they were using Blackberry for the demonstration.
A posed shot.
Finally, the battle of Google Maps on Apple iPhone and Blackberry
That is it for the event coverage. We were given a Google notepad, a Google T-shirt, a pack of Marigold drink and a packet of M&M 🙂 . Here is a short demonstration video clip of the setup and features of Google Maps on mobile.