The Electronic Traveler: Improving Mobile Mapping Technology

Categories: Tech

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By far, the single most important app on my recent vacation was Google Maps. When you log more than 3,500 miles in a car, a map is often your best friend and the Google Maps app was outstanding at getting me from point A to point B.

But, like all apps, it could be improved. Along the way, there were additions that I could see proving most useful when on a road trip, whether it's 3,500 miles or 35 blocks. Here are some of the features I'd like to see in my map app.

Construction
There were multiple instances of construction along my route, some of which slowed my trip due to traffic, but most of which simply slowed me down because of speed zones. Having to drive 55 (or thereabouts) for 50 miles can certainly change your plans when the normal speed limit is 70. Having some warning about road construction would be extremely helpful, if not for avoiding it, at least for factoring it into your trip. Since most interstate construction is planned well in advance, I would think this is something that could be added without a lot of extra effort.


Enlarging Names and Numbers
Perhaps the most frustrating part of maps on a phone is how small they are. Even when they are zoomed in, the names of the streets and the highway numbers remain ridiculously small. Driving and trying to squint at interchange numbers is hazardous. There should be a way to zoom in on not only your location but also names and numbers.


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