Sadly, this won’t mean a great to deal to us guys in the UK, but it is a big step in the right direction. It was only the other day that I’d got lost in Clapham and was using Google Maps to find my way home. I was cursing the little map for not showing me bus times and stumbled around town checking all the stops for directions.
Obviously, you have to be pretty stupid to get lost in Clapham, but soon maybe I’ll be able to disguise my stupidity with this feature. Instead of having to keep flipping between Google Maps and a timetable site, it will all be in one easy-to-find place. Well, it will be for Americans. It’s not clear how long we’ll have to wait for the process to start up here, but surely it can’t be too long. Google seem to be really pushing Google Maps stuff at the moment. Following the addition of photos and Wikipedia entries, this is another great move.
It’s particularly useful for travellers, though. If you’re visiting a new place, you’re obviously not going to know all the transport links. I noticed that Google had already linked in with partners to provide timetables for Euro 2008 in Austria and Switzerland which is really brilliant and exactly the kind of thing we need.
One feature that I think still might be missing from Google Maps is the ability to download a whole area. Would that be possible or is it a pipe dream? Recently I discovered you can download the entire Wikipedia and save it to read on your mobile and it’s only about 2gb in total. I wondered if the same would be possible for Google Maps. I’m not sure how much data is being transferred but it is frustrating having to wait for a new area to load. Downloading the latest build to your computer and then transferring it to your phone would make the whole process much quicker and you wouldn’t have to use the Internet when checking, saving you tons on that data plan.