Indonesia’s Biggest Cities On Google Street Views
The tool allows users to virtually explore parts of Indonesia through panoramic street-level images in Google Maps, and it could help tourists better understand the ups and downs of traveling in the world’s largest archipelago, said Rudy Ramawy, Google Indonesia’s country director. Collecting those images was a challenge.
“We tailored our driving schedules and routes to account for a number of local factors, such as weather, traffic, other driving conditions and speed of collection,” said Mr. Ramawy. In Jakarta, for example, a city notorious for gridlock, Google drivers had to pick hours when traffic would be less heavy, he said.
The hope, now, is that Indonesians and visitors alike can use it to their advantage.
Working in partnership with Indonesia’s Ministry of tourism and Creative Economy, Google began collecting imagery here in November 2012. Tourism Minister Mari Pangestu said at the time that the tool could help promote tourism by allowing travelers to view hotels before arriving, make travel plans and arrange meeting spots.
Business owners could also embed the imagery onto their websites to provide more information about their establishment to consumers, said Mr. Ramawy.
With a population of nearly 250 million people, Indonesia is Google’s biggest market in Southeast Asia. Just days after its launch last week, Mr. Ramawy said searches for street view were “spiking.”
“Street View is a great tool to showcase Indonesia globally,” he said. “Hotels, for example, will have a new way of showing future guests what their building and surrounding neighborhood looks like,” helping locals and tourists alike become more easily familiar with Indonesia.”
Launched officially by Google in 2007, the technology has already helped attract attention to some countries. In Japan, for example, the number of Google searches for Hashima Island jumped after it appeared in the James Bond film, Skyfall. When Street View digitized the movie set in June 2012, “it had the same impact,” said Mr. Ramawy.
In Indonesia, Google also unveiled new underwater Street View imagery of the reefs at Komodo National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For the project, which allows users explore imagery of colorful coral beds, manta rays, and other marine life, the U.S.-based company teamed up with Caitlin Seaview Survey, a team of scientists mapping the world’s coral reefs.
Street View has only captured images for four cities, Jakarta; Bogor, West Java; Surabaya, East Java; and Bali’s Denpasar. Mr. Ramawy said Google would love “to continue bringing more of Indonesia on to Street View,” but he did not elaborate further.
Indonesia joins 57 other countries world-wide, including Singapore, Thailand, and Cambodia, in showcasing its streets — even with the crazy traffic.