Category Archives: guangzhou

Go ad-free with ExploreMetro VIP on Android

Since we launched our apps for Android on Google Play they’ve been available free, in order to reach as many people as possible! To help support the costs of development, we included an ad banner at the bottom of the screen.

Lots of people sent us feedback to let us know they wouldn’t mind paying a few dollars to remove the ads. So we’ve launched Explore Metro VIP for Android! It’s really simple to use:

1. Update any existing ExploreMetro map map apps you have already downloaded from Google Play to the latest version, that’s version 1.1

2. Visit http://exploremetro.com/vip or go to Help > Remove ads to download our VIP app.
3. Now you’re a VIP!

One purchase means you can enjoy all seven of our metro maps ad-free (Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Seoul, Taipei, Hong Kong, Singapore) for one low price!

How do I become a VIP?

Download the app from Google Play at exploremetro.com/vip

Once I’ve installed the VIP app, what do I do?

Bask in your awesomeness. You can then download and install any of our Android apps, and the ad banner will be gone! Please leave the VIP app installed so we know you’re a VIP!

I can’t download the VIP app from Google Play?

The VIP app is a paid app, and Google restricts which countries are allowed to download paid apps. For example, the United States and Singapore are OK, but China doesn’t currently allow paid apps.

I installed the app, but there are still ads?

Make sure you have version 1.1 installed of the metro map apps (Help>Version to check). If you uninstall the ExploreMetro VIP app, we won’t be able to detect that you are a VIP. You’ll need to download it again.

Coming soon: step-by-step routeplanning and sharing in our iPhone apps

We’ve been busy this summer preparing a new version of our awesome metro maps for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Version 7 will be available soon – but here’s a sneak preview, as well as information on how to get the new version first by joining our beta-testing program.

Route-planning is a really useful part of our apps: in fact over 15,000 routes are planned every day using our iPhone apps! In the current version, the fastest route is shown directly on the map like this:

In version 7, we’re adding written step-by-step directions, like this:

Every step of the way, you have clear instructions of which line to take, and which direction. What’s more, you can easily share the route instructions, by email, SMS/iMessage, Twitter or copying to clipboard:

We even automatically shorten the route directions to fit more easily into an SMS message.

If you’d like to try out the new routeplanning features, sign up to our beta-testing program.

And there’s more! Once iOS6 is launched later this year we’ll be adding more great features, including:

  • Point-to-point directions integrated into the built-in Maps app
  • Sharing via Sina Weibo

 

Our beta metro maps are now the default on modern browsers

We’ve switched over to make the new beta metro maps the default version when you visit one of our sites in a modern browser. If you’re using Internet Explorer 6, 7 or 8 you’ll be automatically redirected to the old Flash version. And don’t worry, our Flash maps are not going away – you can switch back to the old version at any time by choosing “don’t use beta”.

Thanks for everyone who submitted feedback for the beta versions, we plan to actively develop the new versions of the maps to make them even better! If you have any suggestions, get in touch via our support site.

A new page for every metro station – introducing a new look for Metropedia

For each of our online metro maps, we provide an accompanying “Metropedia” with a webpage for every metro station and metro line (for example People’s Square in Shanghai, Kowloon in Hong Kong). We’ve just designed all the Metropedia pages to match the style of our new beta metro maps. Highlights of the new pages include:

  • New stylish header with a snapshot photo of the location
  • Fast facts including the name of the station in multiple languages and audio pronounciation
  • Location map from Google Maps
  • Tips contributed by the users of our iPhone apps
  • Photos from the area around each station
  • Nearby places from Wikipedia and Skimbl
  • Works well on phones and tablets as well as desktop browsers

Check out the Metropedia homepages for for ShanghaiBeijingGuangzhouSingaporeHong Kong and Taipei, and do let us know if you have any suggestions on how to improve the Metropedia pages!

Sample page:

Sample page on iPhone:

 

Faster loading, faster route-planning on our beta metro maps

We’ve just launched some more incremental improvements to our beta metro maps for ShanghaiBeijingGuangzhouSingaporeHong Kong and Taipei

  • By popular demand, you can now drag between two stations to plan a route (this is how route-planning works in the classic version). You can also use the new method of clicking on the first station, choosing “Plan route” and clicking on the second station.
  • It’s also now quicker to plan a new route after planning your first route – no need to dismiss the route-planning bar
  • Finally, we’ve improved the caching of the map tiles, so the map should load much faster on repeat visits

 

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.

Updates for our beta metro maps

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 ShanghaiBeijingGuangzhouSingaporeHong 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.

Travelling from Guangzhou Baiyun Airport to downtown Guangzhou by metro

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.

Line 3 has interchanges with Line 2 at Jiahewanggang, Line 1 at Guangzhou East Railway Station and Tiyu Xilu, and Line 8 at Kecun

If you’re planning a trip to Guangzhou, we’ve got the resources you need for using the subway: visit our interactive subway map, print out a PDF map or download our iPhone/iPad app or Android app.

photo by: antwerpenR

Try the beta version of our all-new metro maps

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!

Coming soon: all-new online metro maps

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!