There is much for you to discover in Thailand

Google choose Thailand to get its own version of Google Maps

February 26, 2009 by  
Category: News

Bangkok–26 Feb–PC & Associates Consulting

Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) today launched Google Maps Thailand (http://maps.google.co.th), a new search platform that enables Thai users to find local geographic information – such as online maps, satellite imagery, driving directions, addresses and businesses listings – on their PCs or mobile phones and in Thai language. Additionally, this open and collaborative platform provides an opportunity for local users, businesses and developers to share their own maps and local knowledge to create a dynamic reflection of Thailand as Thai people see and experience their own country.

Thailand is the first country in Southeast Asia in which Google has launched a local version of Google Maps, with information on roads, addresses and hundreds of thousands of businesses all over the nation to provide users with a comprehensive, fast and easy-to-use source for local information. Google Maps shows place names both in Thai and in English, so that locals and visitors alike can contribute content to share recommendations in the golden kingdom, further increasing the quality of Thailand’s most comprehensive and user-friendly map.

Beyond local geographic search, the information and tools found on Google Maps Thailand and websites integrate seamlessly into Thai users’ daily lives. Local organizations such as HSBC (everydaydiningdelight.com), IC Web (bkkmenu.com), The Royal Project, Thai Ticket Major, the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Where in Thailand and Space Miner have contributed to the development of Google Maps so that users can search for local businesses and points of interest, check out what events or movies are going on nearby, advise visiting friends on Thai attractions and even locate nearby dining and shopping options.

“We’re excited to make it faster and easier for people in Thailand to search for local geographic information that they can use every day,” said Pornthip Kongchun, Thailand Marketing Manager for Google Southeast Asia. “This new platform also enables local users, businesses and third-party developers to contribute and share their information about Thailand to further enhance the quality of Google Maps, making it the most content-rich and relevant virtual map of Thailand for all Thai people.”

“Google focuses on organizing the world’s information and making it universally accessible and useful. Today’s launch of Google Maps Thailand is another exciting step forward in helping Thai users find the local geographic information they need in their own language with just a few clicks,” said Andrew McGlinchey, Product Manager, Google Southeast Asia.
Be it for work or play, Google Maps Thailand offers a dynamic, open and collaborative platform that caters to local users, businesses and developers.

The key features for Thai consumers to enjoy include:

Location Search: Simply typing in an address or building name will instantly take Thai users to their desired destination on a map or satellite image. For example, check out Lumpinee Park, Siam Square 3, Pai and even the Wat Rongkoon Temple.

Driving Directions: Thai users can now find driving directions between two or more locations and even click and drag the route to change it. Users can print off these directions, get return directions or change the route to avoid expressways or tolls. For example, you can search for “Sanam Luang” and get driving directions from Lak Si Road.

Local Business Search: Thai users can find local businesses by simply typing in the business name or category. A list of businesses with the location, address, phone number and even business website will be shown and users can then click on a business listing to see it on the map. For example, search for “Bookshops” to get a list of furniture-related businesses or search for “Se-Ed Book Center” to see the locations, addresses and contact details of each Se-Ed Book Center on the map.

Google’s index of billions of web pages, and partnership with local data providers, such as Where in Thailand, Space Miner, IC Web (bkkmenu.com) and HSBC (everydaydiningdelight.com), make it possible for local geographic search results to include relevant data, such as pictures, videos, menus, reviews and other useful information.

My Maps: The My Maps feature enables Thai users to quickly and easily create custom maps for personal use or to share publicly. Users can customize their maps by using My Maps’ wide selection of placemarks or by adding text, photos and videos to their maps. They can also draw lines and shapes to highlight paths and areas, or add HTML to further customize their maps. Users can choose to make their My Maps unlisted or to be shared through search.

My Maps empowers Thai users to create content-rich maps for their personal interests, expertise and needs – from a map of their favorite places to eat to a map of the places they have visited. My Maps can also be created to share local geographic information with other users of Google Maps. For example, Thailandtourism.org created a My Maps of 3,000 tourist attractions which is useful for tourists and locals to plan their Amazing Thailand trip. Another example is the My Maps for the Royal Projects which is an excellent way for students to see and learn about the various projects, such as the Pasak Irrigation Project, supported by the Thai monarchy.

Google Maps for Mobile: Google Maps for Mobile extends the dynamic search capabilities of Google Maps Thailand to mobile phones, allowing Thai users to locate addresses and navigate maps on-the-go. Google Maps for Mobile is now available and free to download on your phone at http://m.google.co.th. However, data transmission fees will be charged by telecommunication vendors upon each download or product usage.

Businesses and developers can use these key features:

Local Business Center: With Local Business Center, Thai companies can add their business listing on Google Maps for free and be “discovered” by Thai users that search on Google Maps. This free tool in generating business opportunities is especially useful for small to medium businesses. Signing up is easy. Go to http://maps.google.co.th/local/add to add your business listing and you will no longer need to worry about dated content or publishing deadlines again. As everything can be done online, companies can quickly and conveniently update their business details, like contact information, hours of operation and other useful information, on Google Maps at anytime.

Maps API: Maps API is a free, Javascript-based or Flash-based toolkit that enables Google Maps to be embedded onto third-party websites. The embedded map is fully interactive and can be customized with location icons, photos and shadowed “info windows” to provide more useful information. For Thai businesses, Maps API helps companies enhance their customers’ experience when they visit their website and increase site stickiness to create new business opportunities. Examples of local websites already using the Maps API are everydaydiningdelight.com, bkkmenu.com, and thailandtourism.org.

Allowing custom-made computer programs to interact with the Google Maps system, Maps API showcases Google’s continued commitment to fostering innovation and supporting the developer community. Read more about Maps API at http://code.google.com/apis/maps/.

Mapplets: Mapplets are useful mini-applications developed by third parties that can be added directly on to Google Maps Thailand. With just a single click of the mouse, Thai users can customize their Google Maps by adding useful tools created for Thailand such as local movie schedules to find out what films are currently playing and displayed by theater location, as well as local events listings from Thai Ticket Major to discover interesting activities to go for, such as Maenak Prakanong the Musical, listed by event name or category.
Google is working with local organizations to develop and introduce more Thailand Mapplets which, by sharing more useful and content-rich information, help to drive traffic from Google Maps to their websites. Google also invites third-party developers to create their own useful Mapplets and share with millions of Google users in Thailand and around the world. More information about Mapplets can be found at: http://code.google.com/apis/maps/documentation/mapplets/.