Tools of the Trade

Help Me Find My Way: Maps Apps and Direction Finders

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There are times when we need to get to conventions,classes, client meetings, or even just “away” for the weekend when we could use…well…our own private navigator! Since hiring a personal chauffer is out of the question for most of us, I decided to do a little digging on what types of devices or apps are the ‘work around” for those of us who get turned around (lost) on occasion. So if you are a regular “road tripper” you know the angst one feels when you realize that, once again you are in the wrong lane of the freeway, and you’ve just blown by your exit. For those who wish to journey to meetings, conferences or events with minimal hair-pulling and stress, here are some of my picks for tools to help you find your way.

This free phone app works just as well as a physical GPS and some users even feel it’s better than a conventional GPS unit because of its
usability. It’s also been reported to give better directions. Perks include the fact that users don’t have to update the maps and there’s always a GPS handy when traveling (since we all know we’d rather leave a leg at home than to forget our mobile device). Drawbacks may include the fact that some find the verbal directions annoying and a windshield mountable piece needs to be purchased to prevent driving distractions. What I did like was the fact it included the option to get directions for transit and walkers, it has a microphone feature that allows me to speak the address I need to go, it gives current traffic updates, provides lodging and other rest-stop info and also helpful tips and tactics for using th
e app. This app is designed for both iPhone and iPad.
iPhone Screenshot 1
Maps for iPhone: This app that is standard standard with most current iPhone models underwent a major overhaul not too long ago. Apple, who was using Google Maps to feed its app data, decided to break away from Google and produce its own Apple Maps apps. This new app has enhanced features like Turn-By-Turn Directions that allows users to have a built-in way to get their phone to speak to them whenever they need to make a turn. This app also offers things like and Vector Tiles; a different kind of imaging that allows the text on the maps to always stay smooth ,clear and readable when users scale or move it. Options that have been removed from the new Apple Maps include transit and walking directions.
Garmin: Though I am using my iPhone as my GPS now instead of the Garmin, as far as GPS gadgets go, Garmin is the best. This high-quality device offers a multitude of models and options for those who like the reliability of a physical GPS unit. There are also additional desirable features like detailed 3D maps, Bluetooth connectivity that allows users to make and receive phone calls hands-free, Lifetime map and
traffic updates, speed limit indicators (so you know the speed limit no matter where you are) two-wayvoice interaction so users can operate the device completely hands free and the larger models can have more information present on a physically larger screen. Some of the hot Garmin GPS models include the Garmin nüvi 2495LMT GPS (Automobile Portable GPS Navigator , 4.3″ LCD) and Garmin Nuvi 2757LM GPS
(Automobile, 7″ LCD).
So armed with this new info, travelers can kick getting lost to the curb and arrive at meetings or conference calm, cool and on time.
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