Since we launched the “beta” versions of our online metro maps a few weeks ago, we’ve received lots of great feedback from our loyal users. Some people love them, some people have found problems or issues and want to go back to the old versions.
Just to let you know, we are reading and responding to all the feedback, and continuing to make improvements to the beta version. Today we made several improvements to our beta maps for Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taipei, including:
The default zoom level shows a larger area
You can now zoom in/out smoothly, rather than only in steps of 2x
When hovering over a station, you’ll see a “hand” cursor, making it clearer when you can click
Fixed a bug where flags would disappear during route planning
Faster loading of map tiles in China
To opt-in to the beta version, click the orange banner.
To opt-out and return to the classic version, click the ExploreMetro logo and choose “Don’t use beta”.
We’ll continue to work on fixing bugs and making improvements in the beta version until they surpass the classic versions If you spot any errors, or have any feedback on how to improve the beta versions, do let me know in the comments, or via our support page.
To help travelers to Asia’s biggest cities, we are running a series of articles on how to travel from major airports to downtown. Today, we’re focusing on Guangzhou.
Guangzhou’s main airport, Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (CAN) is situated 28 km north of central Guangzhou.
The simplest way to get to downtown is via Guangzhou Metro Line 3. The station at the airport is named Airport South (Airport North is not yet open). The journey to the city (Tiyu Xilu station) takes about 42 minutes, and a one way ticket costs 7 RMB. Trains run every 7 minutes from 6:10am to 11:00pm.
We’re pleased to announce that the beta version of our new metro maps is now available! Visit our sites for Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Singapore or Hong Kong – look for this orange banner at the top of the page to opt into the beta:
If you don’t yet see the message, please accept our apologies, we will make it available to you soon!
You can also visit our sites from an iPhone, iPad or Android device to try out the beta version.
Some of the great new features of our all-new metro maps include:
Doesn’t require Flash
Layout adapts to your browser size
Simplified routeplanning. Just tap on the first station, choose “Plan route”, then tap on the second station
Quickly jump to another city using the top menu
Zoom in and out using the mouse scrollwheel or zoom buttons
Pop open the first/last train times panel. Just tap any station, then choose “First & last”
Load the Metropedia article for any station by tapping on the station name
If you’d like to return to the classic version, tap the ExploreMetro logo and choose “Don’t use beta”.
As this is a beta version, there may still be a few glitches. If you spot anything wrong, or have suggestions for improvements, contact us!
Since 2007 we’ve been providing interactive Flash metro maps at exploreshanghai.com and for four other cities. While recently we’ve been focused on apps for iPhone and Android, our popular online maps at are starting to look a little dated. It’s time for a fresh start, so I’ve been redesigning the online maps from the ground up. The goals of the redesign are:
No more Flash: as an increasing number of devices don’t come with Flash Player installed
Make the design responsive – that is to say, it should display well on any screen size, from a mobile phone right up to a large desktop monitor
Allow users of mobile devices who haven’t got our native apps to access basic mapping functionality on all devices for free
Add online maps for Seoul and Taipei
Add some features from our native apps, like more intuitive routeplanning, and zoom in/out
We’re still testing the new maps, but here’s a sneak preview of things to come (click to enlarge):
Soon, you’ll be able to opt-in to use the new version when you visit one of our sites. Stay tuned for updates!
We’ve taken the best features of the iPhone/iPod touch experience and redesigned them to work on the iPad’s larger screen. Here’s what you’ll see when you start Explore Shanghai.
Of course, the metro map takes centre stage. You can search for a station with the search bar, or tap on any station for timetables and route-planning:
Notice the “flip” button? A great new feature is the ability to “flip” the screen to see a large Google Map of the station and surrounding area:
Other nearby stations are highlighted. You can also tap the “locate” button to centre the map on your current location.
Because the apps are “Universal” apps, they work both on iPhone/iPod touch (including retina graphics!) and iPad/iPad 2. If you’ve already bought one of our apps for iPhone, you can install it on iPad for free. And of course, updating to version 3.0 is free. Not downloaded yet? Our apps cost just $1.99 on the iTunes App Store: download now!
We’d love to hear your feedback about ways to improve our apps. Do get in touch if you find any bugs or have any suggestions!