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Old 15th October 2013, 17:19   #1
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Post Wonobo: Indian version of Google Street View

Who needs Google Street View?
Indian brothers launch rival service Wonobo


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BANGALORE: Who needs Google Street View! Even as the global search major struggles with Indian authorities to get permissions to take images of Indian city streets, a small Mumbai-based mapping company has done all that Google had planned, and perhaps more, for the top 54 Indian cities.

Genesys International, founded in 1995 by brothers Sol and Sajid Malik, have captured numerous images of almost every street in these cities, and stitched the images together to create 360-degree panoramic views of the streets, almost exactly the way Google has done in many other parts of the world.

On Tuesday, the company launched the service under the brand Wonobo (wonobo.com). The site suffered from a little latency on Tuesday, but the company says the speed will improve in a day or so as they get everything in place.

So how come they were able to do something that Google has not been able to yet in India? Sajid Malik told TOI that one advantage Genesys had was that they had been working with the government for many years for their mapping services. "For street view, the government, including the defence ministry and the Survey of India, threw a lot of regulations at us. We painstakingly fulfilled their requirements, including not taking pictures in sensitive areas," he said.

Genesys may also have the advantage of being a local company that's hosting the data in local servers. The company has so far been in the services business, creating map content for others such as Navteq (provider of electronic navigable maps), Nokia and Bing, and was involved recently in creating digital maps of Dubai, Mecca and Medina.

Wonobo street view is being launched initially for 12 cities -- Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Surat, Jaipur, Costal Goa, Kolkata, Agra, Pune. The remaining 42 cities will be launched over the following weeks.

Wonobo's main street view service provides a map on the left side of the screen and the street view on the right (you have the option of having a full-screen street view and keeping the map as a small box at the bottom). You can click any part of the map and get the corresponding street view. You can look all around a point on a street. You can click or drag on the street view to go down a street.

There's a search box to find locations. With the help of field staff, Wonobo has tagged some 10 million points of interest. That includes 4 million business locations. You can walk into some of these locations - like Novotel hotel in Mumbai - and look all around. Though the company is not charging Novotel now, these are potential revenue sources. For many of the small businesses tagged, it's their first web presence. "Any merchant can mention his suite of services, show real time prices or available inventory, showcase interiors. One of our revenue sources will be based on such hyper-local engagement," Sajid said.

Random checks we did on Wonobo showed that some of the images are a little dated, some important roads have not been covered yet, some of the tagging could have been better done. Search for Barton Centre, a landmark building on Bangalore's MG Road, and you get a view of an ugly electric transformer at the back of the building. The company says their effort is to ensure that images are no more than six months old.

The Wonobo platform also enables anybody to create pictorial storylines and guides. You could create a 'Sachin Tendulkar guide' that shows everything from the nursing home he was born in to the house he lives in now. You could create a street food guide or recommend a walking tour in a city. You can invite others to participate in creating your storyline, and you can even share your storylines on social media.

Wonobo is working with the Indian tourism department to showcase heritage sites, something that Google is also now doing, though Google is yet to get permissions for wider street views.

Bangalore startup Vidteq has done video images of streets in Bangalore, Chennai, and Hyderabad. But video requires greater bandwidth, and Vidteq does not provide panoramic views.

Wonobo has captured images in very high resolution, but the resolution used on the website is lower in order to reduce latency given our generally low internet speeds. Mobile will require even lower resolutions. "We will do a mobile app soon," Sajid said.

http://www.wonobo.com/

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/t...edium=referral
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Old 15th October 2013, 20:26   #2
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Default Re: Wonobo: Indian version of Google Street View

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Originally Posted by iVento View Post
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Random checks we did on Wonobo showed that some of the images are a little dated, some important roads have not been covered yet, some of the tagging could have been better done. Search for Barton Centre, a landmark building on Bangalore's MG Road, and you get a view of an ugly electric transformer at the back of the building. The company says their effort is to ensure that images are no more than six months old.

Wonobo has captured images in very high resolution, but the resolution used on the website is lower in order to reduce latency given our generally low internet speeds. Mobile will require even lower resolutions. "We will do a mobile app soon," Sajid said.
Well, my random checks showed it doesn't work at all. So were not talking about some latency here, simply no loading of the map at all. Maybe that means lots of people are trying to get on.

We'll see. I must admit I'm a huge Google Map fan, but it'll be interesting to see what these guys do. I read about their business model. Never understand that sort of models. Different industry from mine I guess.

I just don't understand how they make money. I can understand how much money they must have poured into this thing till date though.

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Old 15th October 2013, 22:36   #3
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Default Re: Wonobo: Indian version of Google Street View

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Well, my random checks showed it doesn't work at all. So were not talking about some latency here, simply no loading of the map at all. Maybe that means lots of people are trying to get on.
Same experience here. The page doesn't load.

Infact, they should have gone to the press after setting their things right. Non-performance can create a negative publicity for them.

Since this is a startup, give them little benefit of doubt.

This is a very interesting project and waiting for their 'latency' get over.
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Old 16th October 2013, 08:21   #4
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Default Re: Wonobo: Indian version of Google Street View

Article appeared on The Hindu today with the Wonobo screen shot of Chennai

Wonobo draws Google into 'Street' fight

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The Kamarajar Salai in Chennai as seen through mapping site Wonobo.


Read it here: http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/tec...?homepage=true
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Old 16th October 2013, 09:00   #5
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Default Re: Wonobo: Indian version of Google Street View

It works almost perfect for me. But the flip side is , it takes its own sweet time to load.

Overall, a commendable effort by the Wonobo team.

Wonobo: Indian version of Google Street View-chennai.jpg

EDIT: I can exactly locate my house with my i10 Parked. It is an old pic but accurate!

The scorpio which was probably used to take the was also ben seen partly.

Last edited by para_7k : 16th October 2013 at 09:21. Reason: Removed Pic of my home
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Old 16th October 2013, 11:49   #6
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Default Re: Wonobo: Indian version of Google Street View

I am finding it difficult to move around, once the street view opens. For example, Delhi opens Connaught Place by default, but there are no way to scroll around and explore the area. Am I missing something?
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Old 16th October 2013, 12:48   #7
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Default Re: Wonobo: Indian version of Google Street View

I think i saw these guys with a grey scorpio MH registration doing the rounds of Koramangala 1st block few days back Tried checking the location and it says "cameraman fell asleep" which means they still haven't uploaded it.
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Old 16th October 2013, 13:15   #8
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Default Re: Wonobo: Indian version of Google Street View

No luck loading the website. They must have done lots to capture images and upload but they haven't done anything to create a decent website. And website creation is not that difficult these days if you ask me.
BTW, I don;t understand why the Government stopped Google's street view initiative and let these people do the same thing. The report says, they have blocked some sensitive locations, which I am sure even Google would have done.
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Old 16th October 2013, 13:35   #9
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Default Re: Wonobo: Indian version of Google Street View

This is beautiful. Tried it in the middle of the night. Was loading well on broadband (256mbps) and found it intuitive. The auto-rickshaw overlaid on the map is not to my liking. Explored a few areas of Mumbai and found it useful. When I have to go to a new area in Mumbai, I can check and get famililar with major milestones along the route before actually venturing out and feeling lost with a 2D map.

Brilliant service!

Last edited by SDP : 16th October 2013 at 13:37.
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Old 16th October 2013, 14:07   #10
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Default Re: Wonobo: Indian version of Google Street View

How much fuel did they burn to get the photos? They have taken every road in the places I saw. I could see my residence with one of my cars. But they are at least 2 year old photographs.
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Old 16th October 2013, 14:25   #11
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Default Re: Wonobo: Indian version of Google Street View

I would say an excellent start!
Agreed, it does take a few minutes to load the first set of images, but once it does, navigating is not that cumbersome.

I found that imagery is somewhat old. I mean close to 2-3 years back. But it sure is a very commendable accomplishment by the Wonobo team.
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Old 18th October 2013, 01:10   #12
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Default Re: Wonobo: Indian version of Google Street View

Works & loads quite well. Only problem I noticed was if you try to move forward small distances its ok but as soon as you try something like 100 meters & similar, it automatically turns into a side-street (if there is one) in between sometimes.

Could see my home & parked vehicles. The pictures are atleast 2-3 years old though.
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