All about Daum's "road view" (kind of like Google Street View)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Edit August 2009: looks like the service has expanded to all the major cities now.

This service was released in January of this year and I don't think it's gotten the fanfare it deserves. Daum is kind of comparable to Microsoft in that it was first on the scene when the internet first became well-known in the 90s, and for a while it was the site to go to. It was eventually replaced by Naver as the number one search engine and portal. This time though they've beaten their competitors to the punch by investing a ton of money to drive around Seoul and Gyeonggi-do (the province surrounding the capital city) and create their version of Street View, which they call Road View (로드뷰). Here's what it looks like:

This is an intersection by COEX (an international convention centre) and a temple known as Bongeun-sa, where all the friendly cats are. The interface is all in Korean though so I'll explain how to use it (it's almost the same).

First, the bar at the bottom:

The arrows on the left and the right are to turn (you can turn by holding the mouse button down and moving the image as well), the plus and minus are to zoom in and out, and the button just to the right of that with the two arrows is to drive automatically in the direction you're facing. If you want to head in one direction fast then hit that and the images will blur and you'll speed up until you reach an intersection and have to decide whether to turn or not. Hit the same button while you're driving to stop.

Then on the top you have this:

The button on the left is for a standard map, the one just to the right is "sky view" (satellite image), the next one is road view (street view), and the one on the right is traffic information (you don't need that).

And besides that it's exactly the same. When you hit the road view button then all the streets that have been mapped out turn blue and you can select one to start from.

Since it's all in Korean though you might want some good starting points, otherwise it might take forever to find something interesting. Here are a few:

And that's only scratching the surface. This covers an area of some 30 million people or so, so there's a lot to find.


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