Imagine setting off on a 12 hour journey. Your co-pilot is your significant other. In the backseat, 3 children age 3 and younger. Start your engines and off you go!
A half a day of travel and everything is going smooth. Kids are happy, occupied, well fed, and pottied. Now, let’s throw a little kink in the puzzle, a traffic jam in the middle of nowhere. Nothing is moving as far as you can see. Can you hear the “I have to go potty” and “are we there yet” cries from the backseat? I can, and suddenly the great day of travel has taken a turn for the worse.
Fortunately, I’m carrying a BlackBerry with Google Maps for Mobile installed. I quickly pull up the application and turn on the real-time traffic layer. 22 miles of I-77 northbound in southern Virginia is solid red. Not good, as the kids are becoming increasingly impatient with the fact that we are not moving.
A quick look at the map and we’re off the interstate working our way through small towns, farm land, and over mountains. Within 30 minutes, we were back on course, past the traffic and working our way closer to home. Without Google Maps for Mobile, we would have had no idea how far the traffic was backed up or if there was an alternative route around the congestion. We later found out, it was taking travelers more than 2 ½ hours to get through that 22 mile stretch. Another victory for Google Maps in books!
Google Maps for Mobile is available for most mobile phones. The latest version of the app has some great new features including the ability to speak your search terms into the phone, street-level imagery and turns in directions, ability to see and share locations of friends and family, public transportation schedules, and a whole lot more.
To learn more about Google Maps for Mobile visit google.com/mobile or http://m.google.com/maps on your phone’s browser.