Tag Archives: Google Maps

Google Maps will help charge your car

Electric cars are catching on. After starting off on the high end of pricing, the market is leveling off and openinh up to more customers, The biggest hindrance now seems to be charging stations, or lack of them.

The problem is slowly shrinking and now Google Maps would like to help out current and future users. “We built Google Maps to help people get where they need to go no matter what mode of transportation they use. Our newest feature brings helpful information about electric vehicle (EV) charging stations to the Map, so you can be confident that your car will be charged and ready for your ride, wherever you’re headed.”

Now you’ll be ablt to tryp in things like EV charging or EV charging station. Businesses with charging stations can also become involved.

Google Maps the TARDIS

Earls street in londonHave you found the TARDIS yet on Google Maps? You’ll have to go to England, first!.

The Google maps easter egg is on Earl’s Court Rd in London, England. If you look at the directions, you will see a double arrow pointing to the police box sitting next to the kiosk. When you select that arrow, you enter in the TARDIS to explore.

The TARDIS is an iconic ship on the popular TV show Dr. Who. TARDIS stands for “Time and Relative Dimension in Space”. The story of the TARDIS is has a chameleon-cloaking device that can blend in with the environment, but this feature is broken and can only project a police box. The TARDIS also is bigger on the inside than the out.

Google Maps of the TARDIS

Unfortunately, we can only explore the main room of the TARDIS. You can move around that main room – climb the stairs and see the console from multiple angles. You can also belly up to the main navigation console and get a first-hand look at the gadgets and gizmos of the TARDIS.

When done, make sure the door is closed and head back down Earl’s Court Rd.

Google goes its own Waze

waze logoAfter much rumor and speculation Google seems to have won the bidding war with Facebook (if there really was one) and pulled the trigger on a purchase of beloved mapping program Waze.

If you have never used Waze then you are missing out. The service takes what Google Maps already offers and adds a bit of social to it. There is real-time traffic data, users alerts on other problems (including speed traps) and much more.”To help you outsmart traffic, today we’re excited to announce we’ve closed the acquisition of Waze. This fast-growing community of traffic-obsessed drivers is working together to find the best routes from home to work, every day”, announces Google.

The Waze product development team will remain in Israel and operate separately for now, but Google plans to slowly integrate the service into its Google Maps.

Perhaps the result will be the most comprehensive service yet. It certainly has all of the markings of such. The power and money of Google could take this a long way.

Meet the Audi RS5

audi logoWhat do you get when you cross an Audi RS8 with an Audi A5? A sports car for the more tame driver. The A5 is considered a high-performance version of a luxury car, while the RS8 is a straight up exotic sports car to take on Ferrari, Aston Martin and the like. Recently TPN’s own Jeffrey Powers got to check out the RS5, which falls into the middle.

If you are wondering why this was at CES and not an auto show then you only need to look inside at the Audi Connect system. It integrates Google Maps and Street View embedded in Audi’s own QNX system. This is not just for the RS5 though, it is coming to all models of the cars. The company is also working on bring 4G into its cars.

Head over to Audi for more information and be sure to check out the video tour below.

Interview by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine.

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Google Maps Goes into Malls, Airports

Google Maps before and after
Google Maps before and after

Google Maps announced the other day they will be extending their mapping service indoors. No, the Google street view cars are not going to be driving into your house, but they will be bringing their services into Malls and Airports, so you can get door-to-true end mapping.

According to the Google Blog, the new leg of this mapping service will bring that familiar “Blue Dot” (to indicate where you are) indoors to public spots. That way if you are in terminal G5 at Chicago – O’Hare, and need to get to terminal A15, you can map your destination and make sure you are going in the right direction.

“We’re thrilled Google Maps continues to provide you with new and helpful perspectives—whether you’re rushing through the airport or finding your way around a mall. ” says Brian McClendon – VP of engineering for Google Maps.

Google has partnered with Malls: Mall of America, IKEA, The Home Depot, select Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, Daimaru, Takashimaya and Mitsukoshi locations. Mapped airports at this time include: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), Chicago O’Hare (ORD), San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Narita International (NRT), among others. As time progresses, they will continue to map stores and other public locations.

Read the release here.

Problems With Google Maps Directions

There are a lot of mapping sites out there.  Mapquest was probably the king, but I think it’s safe to assume Google has taken over the mantel.  Is that a good thing?  I thought so, since I, like many others, am living in the Google-verse these days.  And, consolidating my mapping needs into that simplifies my life a little bit more.

Now, I am not so sure, though.

It began last year when I printed out directions to Shenandoah National Park on the eve of a hiking and camping trip my son and I were taking.  In fairness there was only one error and, although it was glaring, that isn’t enough to convict them on.  Thankfully, it was also painfully obvious.  We were coming up on a double interstate exit – you know, those ones that are distinguished by “A” and “B”?  The highway exit sign said to follow “B” for Shenandoah, but the printout from Google said “A”.  Against my better judgment, and like a good Google lemming, I took “A”.

It was wrong, of course.  Thankfully, I knew right away since there was another turn listed within a quarter of a mile and it wasn’t there.  I was able to turn around and follow the road signs with no problem.

Soon after that incident Verizon was forced, by a court, to open their phone GPS to third-parties.  No longer could they require the use of VZ Navigator for $9.99 per month.  I was now able to use Google Maps!  And I installed it right away.

Now, Google Maps has a lot of to offer.  Not only directions and GPS, but all sorts of “layers” can be added that can show traffic, gas stations, restaurants, rest areas, and all sorts of stuff.

But, last week I took my wife and kids to Hershey Park and bad Google Maps memories came back to me.  We were close to Hershey – an easy two hour drive from my home, but getting to the park itself was not something I had down in my head.  No problem.  I pulled out my phone, punched in my starting location as “current location”, put in Hershey Park as my destination, and a map and directions instantly materialized on my screen.  I was in business.

And…it got us there.  We took a nice tour of the town of Hershey along the way, though!  Including, early on, passing by a street that we (much) later ended our trip on.

The good news is that Bing also has mapping software for my phone that works with it’s GPS.  I have heard good things about the Bing app as well.  We are taking another trip in a couple of weeks and I will be trying it out.  I figure it can’t do worse.

GNC-2008-01-15 #339

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