This week Google released a downloadable mobile Google Maps application for Treo smartphones. Perhaps proving that Palm OS is not dead yet, this is a great example of an application that can provide a better experience than a web browser.
Overall the application is pretty quick, even on my poor old Treo 600. Local business integration and traffic are great. The Satellite view is kind of cool, but I’m guessing most users would stick with the street view. Bonus points for over the air install (i.e. no need to install from desktop and HotSync to the device).
How to make it even better?
- Add bookmarks to save favorite locations
- Quick Connect link to find contact address on map
- MS Mobile version for Treo 700w/wx
- Use cell tower to find approximate location
Update: To learn more, check out an in-depth review with lots of screenshots on Treonauts.com: Google Maps: Completely Hooked.
Flickr’s geotagging features are really cool. I’m GPS-challenged (meaning, I don’t have one yet), but the Organizer makes it easy to associate photos with their location.
When viewing other photos, I really wish the UI had a better indicator when the photo has geotag information. Right now, it’s a subtle bullet point under additional information, like: “Taken in Yorktown, Virginia (map)”.
To solve this, I wrote a Greasemonkey script to add a small icon just above the photo (after Add to Faves, Blog This, etc. buttons). The icon only appears for photos that have geotagging data associated with them. I might try to make a better button icon, but the blue ball/globe thing does stand out, so it accomplished what I was after.
- Install Greasemonkey if you don’t already have it, then restart Firefox
- Install flickrmapicon.user.js (click Install button that appears in yellow bar to install the script)
- Browse to a Flickr page with geotag information to see the script in action
(Flickr photo credit)