Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I Heart... Google Maps

I use Google Maps all the time.
Running errands?  Google Maps.
Looking for a friend's house?  Google Maps.  
Planning a trip?  Google Maps.

I find that they are an incredibly useful tool to organize information in addition to helping me navigate from Albuquerque to Zambia.  And you can make them either public -- which means other people can search the information on your map -- or private -- you can share it with others, but they have to be invited. I create both kinds.  For example, during Cruise Week, I had more recommendations to make than I could include in one week of blogging, so I added other restaurants and places to visit on the Cruise Week map.  That map was public -- and viewers can even make comments on the map as they use it. 

The same is true for the new Rome's Angels & Demons: the Insider's Guide Map.  The free ebook (download your copy here) has a map with the primary locations marked, but you should also check out the new Google map where every location mentioned in the book is also located on the map.  All of Rome's obelisks?  Check the map.  That spot where Raphael and his lover were caught in fragrante delicto?  Check the map.  All four Altars of Science?  Check the map!  There are more than 30 Angels & Demons-related locations in all. 

View Rome's Angels & Demons: the Insider's Guide in a larger map

I am gearing up for a 2-week trip to Ireland in June, and you can bet I'll be including Google maps when I am blogging about that trip as well.  Right now my Ireland maps are private.  I am plotting my hotels and planning daily itineraries for my travels, but when I start to blog about the trip, some of those maps will become public and part of my blog posts as well.
So, how do you use Google Maps at home and when you are traveling?
And don't forget to enter the Tweet-to-Win contest!


Scintilla @ Bell'Avventura said...

I love using Google Street View. The Amalfi Coast is now on it so I'm able to virtually wander the streets and check out the people I know!

Rebecca Ramsey said...

I use mapquest ALL THE TIME. I've got a sixteen year old who is driving now and learning his way around, and my only concern is that with the directions listed out, he's not learning to read a map himself. Maybe I should just give him the Google map and let him figure it out on his own. I just worry that he'd look at the map when he should have his eyes on the road.

Angela K. Nickerson said...

Scintilla, I am going to have to check out the Amalfi Coast on Google Maps!

Rebecca, have you ever thought of giving him a Garmin? It can tell him where to go as he is driving. I'm not sure if that's more distracting, though... I've never used one, but when I was in Korea all of the cars had them. Of course, I couldn't understand a word it was saying! :)

Linda said...

I use Google Maps for choosing hotels. I enter the addresses, and then I can see how close the hotels are to attractions I want to see.

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