Do you want to go pub-hopping in Colaba in Mumbai, stroll through Cubbon Park in Bangalore or visit the iconic Taj Mahal in Agra all from the comfort of your home?
WoNoBo.com is a new technology startup being incubated by Genesys International Corporation, an Indian advanced mapping company, with close to 2,000 employees working on complex mapping projects.
Genesys was recently listed by ‘Forbes’ magazine among Asia’s ‘Best Under A Billion’ companies. The team — which includes remote sensing experts, urban planners, social scientists and Internet buffs — passionately believes that new age mapping platforms like WoNoBo.com can help drive change in society.
What is it about?
WoNoBo is offering the first and only location-based service to offer 360-degree ‘walkthroughs’ of streets across 54 Indian cities. WoNoBo.com offers maps across cities, directions, and a lot of information that they believe will change the way people engage with their cities online.They have a mobile app as well as a website offering this experience.
The app helps users rediscover India with 360-degree street views across major Indian cities. It provides detailed information for millions of places, including historical monuments and landmarks and also turn-by-turn navigation.
A user can use the app and Web browser version to
-Share places of importance with family and friends
-Explore many Indian streets from the comfort of their home or on the go on their phones
-Step inside the Taj Mahal, Elephanta Caves and other tourist spots
-Walk through hotels and shopping malls with extensive interior views
-Get the best of what’s around you with local search
The stories section includes short interesting articles about things that are happening in the city. Users can also sign up and submit stories themselves.
The guides section includes various subcategories such as culture, leisure, shopping, spiritual etc for each city. Users can select different categories based on their interests.
The last category is Walking Tours which is available on the mobile app as well. Users can experience a 360 degree ‘walkthrough’ at any available location of their choice.
Zaki Ansari is the Chief Executive Officer of WoNoBo.com. He was former Chief Product and Technology Officer, UTV New Media Limited, before which he ended a 14-year stint at Rediff.com as Vice President of Product Development. Prior to that, his experience was mainly in journalism with newspapers like ‘The Daily’, ‘Mid-Day’ and ‘The Sunday Observer’.
Also part of the core team are media and new media veterans like Amit Mehta (Head of Product and Marketing), Indranil Gupta (AVP, Product Management), Zaheer Merchant (AVP, Product Design), Jeetendra Chandragiri (AVP, Platforms and UI Engineering), Bhaskar Sharma (Head, Service Engineering and Operations) and Lindsay Pereira (Head, Content and Communications).
Pros and cons
The app occupies just 1.9MB of storage space and requires Android 2.2 or above to function. The UI is sleek and smooth over both the browser and app. It is also really simple and easy to use. The in-depth informative content about each location is an added bonus as well.
The web browser version offers better quality images compared to the images currently available in the mobile app. A careful observer will realize that the images for most locations currently used are about two years old. Updating the images will also enhance the appeal of their amazing service.
Overlooking a few minor issues, this is an amazing app considering the attention to detail and in depth experience that it provides. With over 10,000 downloads and a rating of 4.2/5 with 1,999 users rating it 5 stars, this app and its web extension is a must try.
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