It wasn’t that long ago that MapQuest ruled. Many of us remember printing out sheets of turn-by-turn directions, and being thrilled that we wouldn’t have to use a paper map to navigate. Then, GPS units for cars came along and revolutionized consumer travel yet again. Today, we now have this capability literally in our pockets, as voice-assisted navigation is standard on most smartphones.
For myself, I tend to use Google Maps, but I recently switched to Waze for the novelty of having Cookie Monster tell me where to go. As much as I love the voice and the commentary he provides, he doesn’t give out nearly as much info as Google does. I reluctantly switched back to faithful, comprehensive Google, which tells me the names of streets that I’m looking for, and not just “Turn right! OM NOM NOM.”
Map technology is changing all of the time; here’s a roundup of some recent developments. And, as you’ll see, map tech also has some issues that need to be addressed.
- This startup helps you find any place on the planet without an address [CNN Business] ” The company’s answer is to divide the world into 57 trillion squares and give them each quirky, three-word addresses that what3words says can track down pretty much any place on the planet, from homes in an Indian slum to a refugee camp in Uganda to an alleyway in Hong Kong. “
- Huawei may challenge Google Maps’ dominance with its own mapping tech [The Verge] ” The service is apparently intended for software developers, meaning apps that offer navigation or ride-hailing services could use Huawei’s planned mapping technology instead of building their own. “
- The Pin Is Mightier: Why it’s so satisfying to find—and make—fake locations in Google Maps [Slate] ” Someone’s created a fake snowboard shop called ‘Edward’s Snow Den’ located in the Secret Intelligence Service’s London headquarters. (Edward Snowden’s face, of course, is the main photo.) When you search for ‘Hell on earth,’ Google results point to a street in Birmingham, England; the DMV in Plano, Texas; and a Catholic school in Stevenage, England. “
- How to Report Fake Listings on Google Maps [Lifehacker] ” Google has been making small efforts to clean up its Maps service, but users can take it upon themselves to police the service, too. “
From the Ohio Web Library:
- Trimble Launches Division Dedicated to Advancing Commercial Map-Centric Technology ( PR Newswire. (2019, February 12). Trimble Launches Division Dedicated to Advancing Commercial Map-Centric Technology. PR Newswire US. )
- Tech Solution for Contractors adds Enhanced Aerial Images 4X Clearer than Google Maps ( PR Newswire. (2019, July 30). Tech Solution for Contractors adds Enhanced Aerial Images 4X Clearer than Google Maps. PR Newswire US. )
- History’s Most Misleading Maps: Today’s high-tech devices aren’t the only tools leading voyagers astray. And some “mistakes” were made deliberately ( Thompson, C. (2017). History’s Most Misleading Maps: Today’s high-tech devices aren’t the only tools leading voyagers astray. And some “mistakes” were made deliberately. Smithsonian, 48(4), 18. )