Sunday, October 26, 2008

Map Mania

If you walked into the bedroom that my brother and I used to share more than a decade ago, you'd have been surprised by the sheer number of maps stuck on the walls. Other kids had Sportstar posters, we had maps. There were maps of the world, India, Kerala, Trivandrum in addition to a globe. One of our favourite games was one in which each of us would take turns to ask the other to find a particular place on the map. One of those days, appa brought home a wonder device - a Magellan GPS receiver. We didn't lose time in marking the latitude, longitude and altitude of our house on the maps. We were thrilled by the possession of secret knowledge - after all, how many people knew their exact location on this earth with such accuracy?

As we grew up, we stopped playing that game, and the maps came off one by one. But our love for maps continued. My brother makes maps for wikipedia as a hobby nowadays. Not to be left behind I too ventured into the area of internet maps - I downloaded Google Maps on my phone (hey, downloading it was pretty tough and it took me 3 days to get it to install; so don't laugh at the comparison).

Seriously folks, this is one of coolest applications that you can ever have on your phone. Haven't you always wished you knew how to get to some strange address in the city while travelling? Haven't you often wanted to know where the hell in the goddamn city you were? Haven't you gone to a new city and wondered whether the auto driver was taking you for a ride (metaphorically)? Haven't you wished you had some device in your pocket that would answer all the above questions?

Ever since I got this app, I haven't been able to stop myself from showing it off to everyone who happens to be near me. This is better than google maps on your computer for 2 reasons - firstly because you can view it on the go and secondly, it communicates with your phone to find out your current location which it shows using a nice blinking blue dot on the phone screen. I frequently open this application while travelling and see the blinking dot move around the city. You can also do a conventional search for any place and get directions to any location from your current location. All this is with a plain GPRS connection. I can imagine how good a 3G phone with touch screen and Android is going to be - nothing short of pure bliss.

There are many of you reading this and thinking that I could just ask for directions. But I'm one of those people who firmly believe that asking for directions is the most uncool thing anybody without google maps on their phone could do.

While you think about that, I'm off now, to show off this app to the kids in my flat who've come out to burst some crackers. If I can just catch them before they run away on seeing me with my phone...

Happy Diwali, folks.

10 comments:

mathew said...

hehe..this reminds of my kid days...am another map freak..i mean i loved atlas so much that i could spend hours just going through it...how boring for a non-freak isnt!!;-P

and often when someone would be visiting from abroad I would question them whether they have visited so and so cities...


I still love maps...sort of a very satisfying puzzle to find places in a map...one of my hobbies used to find major monuments in the google map...love it!!:-D

silverine said...

Another Atlas freak here :p I liked Atlases as I liked my maps very detailed! I have a huge collection of them which the silver fish are browsing through nowadays! I dont have the fascination for places now, but I hold onto them for some reason! :)

cris said...

Wow I could certainly use something like that! I need directions to know how to reach the other side of the road! Parting words for my farewell from last job - "Hope you will find the way to your home from here"
Happy Diwali! Hope you nailed 'em kids!

Badri said...

I think downloading google maps and using it illegally is indeed an achievement which I think even your bro cannot match...;)

Anonymous said...

:D :D :D

Philip said...

mathew: Oh yes! I completely understand...the hours I spent in poring through the Orient Longman Atlas is uncountable. Google Earth was a major invention, according to me :)

silverine: Another one!! The more I think I'm unique, the more blogosphere proves me wrong :))

cris: Seriously, it can't be that bad! But if that really is the case, this is a really useful app. And those kids got away :( Can't keep up with their running these days...

badri: Shhh..I don't want any airtel guys seeing this. I thought we had an agreement ;)

anon: :D

confucius said...

hehe..
One of the many atlas freaks I have met. Thats a very good hobby to have. I am completely opposite...I cant understand directions ... how much ever I try to...The first thing I brought after coming to US was a GPS...and I am the only guy to hear abuse from a GPS
GPS : Turn left in 500 ft
Me : ( Misses it )
GPS : Recalculating...turn right in 300 ft on Harmony Road
Me : Turns left
GPS : ( After trying to direct me for some time ) For the love of gos...please switch me of *&#*

confucius said...

hehe..
One of the many atlas freaks I have met. Thats a very good hobby to have. I am completely opposite...I cant understand directions ... how much ever I try to...The first thing I brought after coming to US was a GPS...and I am the only guy to hear abuse from a GPS
GPS : Turn left in 500 ft
Me : ( Misses it )
GPS : Recalculating...turn right in 300 ft on Harmony Road
Me : Turns left
GPS : ( After trying to direct me for some time ) For the love of god...please switch me of *&#*

silverine said...

You have been tagged!!

Thomman said...

I'm serious when i say that i know the location of every country in the world. It all started by playing that Traveller IQ challege in facebook. I bought a world map exclusively for that purpose. And now I've a widget in my browser for playing location games. I guess we're all birds of the same feathers.