Addicted to Google’s Mobile Maps

[photopress:phone.png,thumb,alignright]I was just reading a post from Jim Kimmons where he gives advice for Realtors on how to better use their handheld Treo’s and it reminded me that I really should put a plug in for Google’s mobile mapping program because I’ve simply become addicted to it and many others could probably benefit from this tool.

The first thing to realize is that the mapping program is separate from your cell phone’s browser. In other words, you’re going to have to download a program to your mobile cell phone. Here is the url you’ll have to type into your cell phone’s browser to download the program:

Obviously, this program won’t work with all phones, but Google is kind enough to give a list of supported phones. Note that they do support Blackberry phones (which is what I use!).

Why am I addicted?

The interface is simple and and clean. The main options I use are “Move to Location” and “Find Business”. The “Move to Location” option is used to locate me in a general area, while the “Find Business” option gets me to specific places.

Being in a new area, this one-two combo has been extremely powerful. For example, today I used the program to find (and get directions to) a local post office, a washington mutual branch and a coffee shop, all while out of the office and miles away from my desktop computer. Very cool indeed.

As with many google programs, the tool gets even more powerful if you learn some of the “tricks”. My most common one is to use the “3” and “1” buttons to scroll between turn movement descriptions while navigating directions. I also like that “i” zooms in while “o” zooms out. (Note that I’m using a Blackberry and other operating systems will surely use different buttons!)

If you happen to be in my situation where you have a powerful phone (and no powerful in-car navigation system), definitely consider checking out this program. It has done away with my need for hard-copy maps!