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Google Maps & Co. as a travel guide

Google Maps & Co. as a travel guide


Berlin –

Where to get the best pizza? And how long is the front row of the museum? The smartphone would be a help. With the right tricks, Google Maps and Co. Can turn such map services into real travel guides.

Business Leader: Google Maps

Google Maps has a detailed map object: even alleys are drawn, there are interior maps with zoom function that localize personalized stores to selected shopping centers or airports. Route planning shows routes for pedestrians, cyclists or riders and alternatives with local public transportation.

Tapping on “Explore” will open up recommendations for the area: from restaurants and bars to museums or walking areas. You can use the search bar to view scenes and their peak times. You can create your own list under “Saved”.

Of course, Google Maps also knows the way back to the car: by clicking on the blue circle indicating your own status, the “Save as Parking” function will appear.

Google Maps is “new, clear, and fast,” says Eric Horster, a professor at the German Institute for Tourism Research (DITF). “But when I interact with the processor, I can learn by monitoring many of my behaviors. At Google, I’m always switching services for data. “

Another minus point: individual areas can be downloaded as offline maps and used for route planning. However, if you want to use maps with all its functions, you need mobile access to the internet.

IPhone version: Apple cards

Apple’s Maps app has many functions for directions and interior maps, similar to Google Maps. However, there are restrictions – some are in favor of data security.

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For example, users should reduce real-time data: “Apple anonymizes user information and strives for better data security, but does not provide as good information as Google,” says Sebastian Trepesch from Heise magazine “Mac & i”.

In Europe, bicycle navigation is currently only available at Apple in London. The service not available from the competition is hidden behind “Explore Travel Guides”. You can view collections of footage compiled by Apple in partnership with partners such as “Lonely Planet” or the “Washington Post”. You can also create your own listings under the “New Travel Guide”.

Apple also offers a “flyover” mode: like a drone from a bird’s eye view, with great views and selected major cities. The service receives additional information about attractive locations or restaurants from third-party providers such as Yelp or Trip Advisor.

Apple users – Map App does not work on Android devices – have always relied on the Internet to browse. “Apple does not have real offline functionality. Only data in cache can be viewed temporarily without an Internet connection,” said Sebastian Trepsch.

On the go without the network: Offline alternatives

High roaming costs, data security concerns: It makes sense to use offline maps from third-party providers, especially when abroad. Jork Geeker from the specialty magazine “Chip” says, “You can use many apps for free and give them a try.

With Trip Advisor information: WeGo here

Here on WeGo, iOS and Android users can download maps of over a hundred countries and over 1300 cities for free. “You can conveniently go offline through offline, without having to worry about data volume,” says Geiger. This service contains extensive content, such as Google, but location data is only recorded anonymously.

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Restaurants, shows and stores and their opening hours and contact details will work offline, but additional information on services such as TripAdvisor will only be available online.

For pedestrians and cyclists: Maps.Me

Maps.Me provides significantly more viewing details. According to Sebastian Trebesch of “Mac & i” it is more suitable to go by car, rather than a city map for cyclists and pedestrians. Descriptions of the footage are taken from Wikipedia and are available offline.

If you want to plan routes without mobile internet, you need to download the maps in advance. The OpenStreetMap database is a source for content covering more than 300 islands and countries, which can be edited by any user. As a result, the maps are too detailed, but sometimes the locations are mis-drawn or the route planning goes awry.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 211102-99-834159 / 5 (dpa / tmn)