GoThere is a location-based search engine with mashup, user-generated contents fusion. Launched in May 2008, the Singaporean start-up mashes together Google Maps and location information to create a highly informative, interactive and intuitive web service.
At its core, GoThere is about giving direction and enabling social discovery. To request for direction between two locations, enter ‘from’ and ‘to’ place names query to search. The search returns include instructions on how to ‘efficiently’ reach the intended destination (with estimated time and cost), using public transportation and roads.
Search Interface of GoThere
You can also search for a specific location and GoThere will pinpoint it on the map with place details. You can either search for a place name (eg. Hard Rock Cafe) or a generic term (eg. cake). GoThere map is embeddable on any website; users can interact with the embedded map to get information such as car park rates, bus routes and comments on retail outlets.
Probably, one of its cool features is its interactive location marker. Move the marker to a new spot on the map and new directional information will be displayed, on the fly!
GoThere also enables user-generated contents. You can edit details about a particular place such as address and associated tags and also rate it and add your feedback. Users are encouraged to share, geotag and review their favorite locations. With these contents, other users get to discover recommended cool places in Singapore.
Location Guide 2.0
GoThere aims for simplicity and speed and I think they’ve succeeded on both fronts. In the words of co-founder Toh Kian Khai, “We understand the importance of the user experience. We want to keep the interface simple as we ourselves are obsessed with speed; we want our users to get their results in the shortest possible time.”
Besides city dwellers, it’s an indispensable web tool to aid tourists in their exploration of Singapore. its repository of rich directional information is particularly impressive. For GoThere, the more locations tagged and reviewed by users, the more valuable are its service. With richer and expansive contents, this location-based web search service will one day becomes a perfect substitute for paper-based location guidebook / map.