Iceland’s answer to Google Maps—Já.is 360°—launched this morning Vísir reports. While Google Maps made its way around Iceland this summer, Já.is, which provides phone directory, mapping, and operator assistance in Iceland, also launched its own photo mapping project, taking 360° photos within Reykjavík and also towns around the country. Roughly four million photos were taken for the project.
When asked to compare the photo mapping features offered by Google Maps and Já.is, Telma Eir Aðalsteinsdóttir, Project Manager for Já.is, said the differences are “considerable.”
“I believe that we are delivering a better and more user-friendly product to consumers, and Já’s local knowledge and experience managing a mapping website of Iceland is evident. We also used this opportunity to update the appearance of our map, so our users are getting a new and improved product.”
Telma said that Já.is 360° makes it easier for users to search for specific house numbers and addresses in Iceland, while when used here, Google Street View will often only return search results by street name.
“Já.is also displays pictures from more towns in the countryside than Google Maps,” she continued. “For example, it is possible to search for 360° street photos of Bolungarvík [in the West Fjords], Raufarhöfn [in North East Iceland], Kirkjubæjarklaustur [in the South], and on the Westman Islands, which is not possible with Google.”
Já.is is also in the process of launching its 360° Indoor mapping service, which will allow companies to provide interior photos of their business to the company, so that customers can get a preview of their ambiance and services offered before visiting. (You can see a sample preview of 360° Indoor here.)
To try out Já.is 360° yourself, hop over to ja.is, and type in a local Icelandic address—we suggest you start at Grapevine headquarters—Hafnarstræti 15. No word yet if 360° has, like Google Street View in Iceland, inspired its own Tumblr yet.