The Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO), in cooperation with the University of Macau (UM), is releasing today a new version of the popular MacauMap (掌中澳) handheld tourist guide system. This new version operates on smart mobile phones, bringing convenience to both tourists and local residents.
This new version of MacauMap offers similar functions to those of its predecessor versions for personal digital assistants (PDAs): map viewing, navigation, searching for streets, display of information in Chinese and English, a bus guide, and a restaurant and hotel guide. In addition, this new version provides information on popular walking tours through Macau, including a slideshow of scenes along each of these tours. It also has a new function to add tourist spots to the map, and to take a photo of these tourist spots with the mobile phone's built-in camera (if any), which can be later viewed on the map.
MacauMap for smart mobile phones was developed from 2003 to 2004 at the Department of Computer and Information Science (電腦及資訊科學系), Faculty of Science and Technology (科技學院), University of Macau (澳魀大學), under the supervision of Dr. Robert P. Biuk-Aghai (羅景山博士). During 2004 it won several awards for its innovation, its tourist-oriented functions, and its high quality, including the First Prize at the 2004 Macau Information and Communication Technology Awards ("二○○四年度澳魀資訊及通信科技大獎賽"一等獎), and the Grand Prize in the Tourism & Hospitality Category of the 2004 Asia Pacific Information and Communication Technology Awards ("亞太資訊及通訊科技大獎賽二○○四"旅遊及酒店項目大獎). Since 2004, MGTO and UM have worked to prepare the release of MacauMap smart phone version to the public, which has today completed. This follows the success of the PDA versions of MacauMap, which have been downloaded about 150,000 times since their release in May 2003.
MacauMap for smart mobile phones is designed for use with phones that use the Symbian Series 60 operating system. This includes currently nearly 30 models of phones from various mobile phone manufacturers. Interested users can download this new version of MacauMap for free from the MGTO website (www.macautourism.gov.mo). Detailed installation instructions are included with the downloaded software.
The University of Macau is currently preparing other versions of MacauMap, for other types of smart mobile phones, as well as a new version for PDAs, which are planned to be released to the public through MGTO during 2005 and 2006. Moreover, versions in Japanese and Korean will also be released, as well as a web-based version, to bring more convenience to tourists visiting Macau.