A Glimpse into the Future of Location Guide

gothereGoThere 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.

gothereProbably, 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.

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  1. You know who should invest and offer this service in Malaysia? The Malaysian Tourism Board!

    The locals can’t even find their way around let alone foreigners and out of town Malaysians. As evident by the well traveled Bytebot who twitted his frustrations at trying to find his way to a location in KL yesterday. I understand his frustrations because just 2 weeks earlier I was lost in Penang.

    So what’s the meaning of Cuti Cuti Malaysia when it’s more like Frus Frus Malaysia?

  2. You know who else can monetize this? Brands like credit card companies, It can highlight all the locations where Mastercard cardmembers can get additional discounts/some incentive when they charge purchases to their card.

    Since Tourism Malaysia won’t get smart any time soon, Singapore Tourism should package this together with downloadable podcasts for areas of interest – like those guided audio tours in museums. From where you’re standing, your device say a Nokia N95 can blink the next closest location you might want to see, then a popup window asks if you’d like to download an audio tour guide (in your native language) as you near your location. If you’re driving, it should also show you where you can park and for how much. I remember that being a problem for me in Singapore. If you knew only underground parking at your location and it’s full, you’re pretty screwed. Good luck navigating out of that ridiculously traffic jam to look for another spot.

    So you visit the next place of interest. Another window pops up with an offer, it reads “Whatever you buy at this place, charge it to your MasterCard or Visa or Amex and get a S$10 discount on a full tank of gas or win a trip to come back to Singapore, first class, round trip on SIA for 2, from anywhere in the world. So take as much time as you need to look around cuz you could be back here again soon.

    Say you stopped at some garden, you snapped some pictures with your mobile phone. Another window pops up with another offer from some camera shop. Big discount on camera accessories, you need more memory cards, prints made, CDs burnt? Come come to Photo Shangrila (or wherever).

    Mobile handset manufacturers, credit cards, any merchant, tourism boards can all use this service. Now will somebody please bring this service to market?

  3. @meta4, hey again…maam. ha ha. yup agreed there is huge monetization potential in the app. When you talked about it being mobile..you might be interested in what Tonchidot is doing
    basically real time mobile tagging just like you said, not by taking pictures, but real time streaming, i.e. carrying your iphone with the video running.
    @Lim good catch man, just concept alone i like it already but too bad theres no content for malaysian addresses.

  4. Tonchidot pretty cool tech. I watched their demo livestreamed at TC50; the crowd went ballistic. However, there are some issues highlighted from the judges, the Japs couldn’t answer, due communication problem. The judges loved Fitbit, instead, with solid biz model and compelling value proposition.

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