Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tip of the Week

My iPhone, among other things, is my primary source of navigation. I use the google map to find the closest location of places I need to go, estimate distances, and of course, get me there. Living in a woefully unpedestrian city such as Dallas, I most often find myself using it in the car. I know Big D like the back of my hand, so figuring out which direction to head at the beginning of a route is no big deal.

However, put me in any. other. city. and this is NOT the case.

My oh-so-intelligent method of figuring out which way to begin is typically "let's just start walking/driving/kayaking and see if the little blue dot follows along the line or goes in the opposite direction." You can imagine how inefficient this is (and how frustrated this can make my fellow travelers when my 50/50 shot goes the other way). Not to mention the fact that in certain foreign cities that $%!#ing little dot hops around the map like a jumping bean.  I'M LOOKING AT YOU, PARIS!

Anyways, that's a whole other story- back to the point.

I just learned on one of my nerd blogs that your iPhone (assuming it has a compass, so 3GS or later) will tell you which direction you are heading in the google map! It is just tucked away in a place where it won't interfere unless needed. To find this little gem of a feature:
  1. Open Google Maps.
  2. Double tap the button in the bottom left corner. (I call this the "where am I" button, although I'm sure it has an official name)
  3. Hold your iPhone flat and away from you.
  4. It should then pop up with a pie shaped graphic coming out of your "where am I" dot that points you in the direction you are headed. Turn the iPhone and the entire map will swivel with it! Pretty fancy...
A lot of you may be sitting there going "duh, I've known about this for years" but in the off-chance that some of you didn't, I thought I'd share the love. This would have been very handy a month ago prior to discovering first-hand that Italians apparently aren't so big on street signs. 

Such is life...

Enjoy kiddos!

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