412 Pasir Panjang Road, Singapore 5

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The house where I lived immediately after I was born (it’s not as romantic as saying “the house where I was born in”, but oh well…) still stands, albeit renovated extensively.

I wrote about growing up there a few years ago, but thanks to Google Street View, I was able to check it out recently without driving there for a closer look. The granite gate pillars are the same as the ones from 1969-1976, though without the lettering “Lee’s Lodge”. I am going to go through my family photo albums for pictures.

I know not many people my age who grew up in Singapore would be able to find the places they grew up in still intact.

A few weeks ago, I thought it’d be a good idea to use Google Maps to identify the things about Singapore we’d fight to protect. Many people identified food items – and it becomes all the same, especially since your Katong Laksa’s sprouted branches on every corner of the island.

So I think it’d be really interesting if we were instead able to pin down on Google Maps the places we lived in when we were born – see if they’re still standing.

Give it a whirl – though I know Google Maps isn’t the easiest thing to edit. So if you’re stuck, leave me a message and I’ll see if I can help.

View #mapmysg in a larger map

Map woes is still grappling with some issues, and although I’ve been loathe to use it for navigational purposes, I’ve found it useful lately as a business directory when I’ve searched for businesses like furniture repairers and shit.

Today, instead of a blank rectangle where the map usually appears after a painful wait of several seconds, the people who run have put in what they think is a message that, by way of what they think is humour, placate people looking for directions to far flung places in Singapore.

Asia Travel : Map of 10 Lorong Nangka (S) 425103
Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!

Dear Users
Our Singapore Maps have escaped out the window!

They were last seen wearing many layers of data acquired through many hours of painstaking land surveys.

They are up-to-date and considered highly
The public is advised to avoid travelling to unfamiliar places in the meantime.

Rest assured, we’ve got our best men on the ground trying to bring them back, but we’ll need your help too!

We’ll tell you how in the days to come. 🙂


What next?
At what price though?

Some days I feel like this country’s going to shits.

There’s one fugitive on the loose, there’s one crime in a safe shopping mall, there’s one listed company that’s pissed off a hitherto loyal customer, and the most commonly used online streetdirectory is no more.

The last point is something close to my heart. I use the internet for everything. When Naomi tells me the toilet flush is broken, she sees me a few seconds later at the computer, and asks me if I’m trying to scour online forums for people with similar flush defects and how to fix them, and I say yes because the internet is an authority on everything, including why there was no CCTV inside the toilet at the Whitley Road Detention Centre.

Maps and streetdirectories are extremely important, given the price of fuel – you don’t want to go round and round like in an F1 race or an empty ferris wheel and get nowhere.

Google Maps for MobileThank goodness there’s Google Maps and Nokia Maps, both of which do a reasonably good job of letting me know where I’m going, and whether I’m on or off track.

Google Maps is particularly cool if you’ve got cash to burn on your data subscription with your mobile phone company. I pay a fixed rate to Starhub, and on my Nokia E65 that doesn’t have a built in GPS, the application still tells me where I am within a 1.7km radius. Which means you can be lost, but not hopelessly lost.

Nokia MapsBoth applications also allow you to prepare your driving routes before you head out, with planned routes, and in the case of Nokia Maps, a voice navigation (subscription based), tells you to turn left or right or go straight, so you can memorise the directions before going out, just like when you were using

Last week, we were only half an hour late going to pick up Naomi’s mum from her home, because I was at home ensuring we would go the shortest distance in the shortest time based on what the mapping software told me.

My brother thought of a cool prank – record your voice saying turn left, turn right and go straight and save it as a ring tone and set it on one of your friend’s GPS enabled phones, and call him when he’s driving.

OK, maybe not so cool. OK, maybe a bit dangerous. Let me go tell him it’s not so funny any more.

But yeah, no need for Their interface sucked anyway, and their pages were chock full of ads you had to navigate through before you could help navigate yourself.

Useful link: Lancerlord provides (via Indian Stallion) a list of online maps you can use.