India Answers Google Street View With Walking Tours - A 360 Degree View Platform

Indian people now have a Google Street View alternative. Launched on 15th October and called, it is India's city-by-city travel and local guide that offers a 360 degree view platform. This website is a result of the Ministry of Tourism coming together with Genesys International to create India's first location-based service to offer walkthroughs of streets across 54 Indian cities. Walking Tours is a unique and exciting product of the website that enables users to navigate and route their way through cities based on a number of interesting themes. The website supports user generated content (UGC) and offers unique social media capabilities and facilitates creation of local communities online. It is important to note that Indian Tourism Ministry is the first in the world to launch such a service.

Proving to be of great help to tourists in India, the Walking Tours platform empowers people to effectively plan their tour. The Ministry of Tourism set the target of having one Walking Tour of each State within 2 years and successfully accomplished it. And now, the new service would be available initially about the roads of 5 major Indian cities and will soon be expanded to the top 54 cities within a few weeks. With this facility, what you get is a mapped panoramic imagery of thousands of square kilometres and close to 10 million places of interest across the country. The five cities whose tours were launched included Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai, Coastal Goa and Ahmedabad.


So who is behind this Mumbai-based company - Genesys International? Well, it is a work of two brothers - Sohel and Sajid Malik, who founded the company in 1995. Sajid Malik told TOI that one advantage Genesys had was in having worked 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. The company has also been in 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.

As part of the website, users get full blown 360-degree views of destinations and much more. The tourists can access, tag and review points of interests i.e., locations, hotels, retail outlets, monuments, parks, etc and also view the interiors of several key locations, all powered by a database of millions of places. Wonobo's main street view service provides a satellite map and the street view on your screen. You can then click on any part of the map and get the corresponding street view. Just like Google Street View, you can click or drag on the street view to go down a street. 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, and showcase interiors. One of our revenue sources will be based on such hyper-local engagement," Sajid said.

It is good to know that WoNoBo is also soon coming to your smartphone. There's also a lot to explore with guides created by users as well as experts, showing locals where to eat, what to shop for, where to take your children while visiting and a lot more. We would be glad to read what fellow engineers have to say about and Walking Tours platform.So share your reviews with us in replies below.


  • Ankita Katdare
    Ankita Katdare
    Personal Opinion: I think that WoNoBo and Walking Tours still have a long way to in catching up with Google Street View. What is has achieved is phenomenal. See:

    Inspect Large Hadron Collider with Google Street View -
    Inspect Large Hadron Collider with Google Street View

    Take A Stroll At The Grand Canyon Through Google Street View -
    Take A Stroll At The Grand Canyon Through Google Street View

    Google World Wonders Project Uses Street View Technology To Explore Historic Places -
    Google World Wonders Project Uses Street View Technology To Explore Historic Places
  • Kaustubh Katdare
    Kaustubh Katdare
    Why solve the problems that have been solved already? I checked the service and it does look nice - but not as nice as what Google Street View does. If WoNoBo could have made the service better - better quality photographs, navigation, suggestions etc.; that service would have been an eye catcher. I personally don't see it using - even if it covers India where Google street view is not yet available.
  • Raghavendra Kopalle
    Raghavendra Kopalle
    Having worked in the geospatial domain and currently in the 360° arena, WoNoBo came as a huge disappointment to us! A detailed review here - #-Link-Snipped-#
  • Ankita Katdare
    Ankita Katdare
    The company is in news again for launching its maiden app on Google Play Store.
    Anybody up for giving it a try?
    Here's a link to download it : #-Link-Snipped-#

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