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Thing 4 : Maps and checking in

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So this is new. Instead of my usual blogging on the train on my phone I’m at Adelaide airport, waiting to catch my flight home, using my ipad.
GPS and maps on mobile devices, how could you travel without them these days. From making sure the taxi driver is on the straight and narrow to negotiating an unfamiliar public transport system to locating places of interest…it’s all good.
Geo caching is another fun use for your mobile’s GPS, as are apps like Walk watch and Map my run so you can record how far you’ve walked/cycled/run, where you went and elevation climbed. I hadn’t considered setting up geo caches in the library but it could be part of a special event like book week.
Checking in…hmmm not so much.
It has disturbed me the frequency which some people check in their every movement and report this for all the world to see on Twitter. To the point I know where they live and whether or not they are at home. Now I’m an honest, law-abiding citizen but not everyone is. Just sayin’.

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Onion Map

I read about Onionmap on Makeuseof – it sounded interesting:

Interactive 3D maps of popular tourist attractions around the world. Check must-see locations in Amsterdam, New York, Beijing, San Fransisco, Hong Kong, Barcelona, Las Vegas, London, Madrid, Paris.

So I thought I’d better take a look.  They have included Melbourne and Sydney too, and there is some useful information there like population, language, currency, the name of the mayor and the Big Mac index.

It’s a bit disconcerting to be looking from the North to the South, maps usually have North at the top, but it’s an interesting concept and would be useful for checking out places you plan to visit as well as revisiting those you have.  There are some natty tools like the ruler which gives you the distance and estimated time on foot from a central location to other features, in this case from Flinders street station.  You can browse listings for attractions, hotels, restaurants and events (although quite a few of these had already happened).

What was disturbing though was how out of date the map actually was.  It doesn’t have the Collins Street extension into Docklands which has been there at least four years as that’s how long my husband has been working at 700 Collins St.  Telstra Dome is labelled as Colonial Stadium (how long ago did that change??).  There is no inkling of the redevelopment of Spencer Street/Southern Cross station or the massive development that has gone on in the whole Victoria Harbour/NewQuay/Waterfront City area – it all still looks like railways and docks.

Compare that with Google maps satellite view:

So I guess you have to wonder how accurate the information is for cities you are not familiar with…a pity because the concept is great.