Category Archives: singapore

Explore Singapore, now with route-planning for the LRT!

We’ve just pushed an update to our Explore Singapore map, which adds route-planning for the LRT (Light Rail Transit) system in Singapore. There are currently three LRT lines: Bukit Panjang LRT, Sengkang LRT and Punggol LRT. You can plan a route between two LRT stations, or from an MRT to an LRT station. The map will show the fastest route, and the total journey cost.

The updated routeplanner is now live on Explore Singapore online at exploresg.com and our Explore Singapore Android app (v1.0.5). An update for our Explore Singapore iPhone app will be available in the next couple of weeks.

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.

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!