My favorite application is Google maps.

google maps logoI am obsessed with Google maps. I have a damn good reason. I hope this post will explain my obsession and enlighten a few. Please send your comments!

Technology, Computers and the internet are just fun detraction and entertainment if they arent used to expand your world or help you accomplish real world things. Thats why Google maps is my favorite app period. You can find awesome restaurants, businesses, better directions, hiking biking and horse trails, beaches, parks, scenic drives, subway bus and ferry routes… the list is endless.

Find your next favorite restaurants, hotels and businesses and laugh at the crap.
Restaurant reviews are a huge help in avoiding another dining nightmare. You can easily find a new favorite restaurant and impress your loved ones. Google has combined the reviews from a huge list of sites. Yelp.com, urbanspoon.com, Yahoo local, Tripadvisor.com, zagat.com, hotels.com, tvtrip.com, travelpod.com, expedia.com, mytravelguide.com, priceline.com, travelpost.com and googles own reviews are just some of the best known.

There used to be a way to filter the search results by review stars. Google has quietly removed this feature. My assumption is that many review sites don’t have a 5 star rating system and Google couldn’t properly sort them.

Keep in mind fake reviews are usually posted all the same day and some reviewers cannot be pleased. Many amazing businesses have a couple unfair negative reviews from some narcissist who found a single hair in a bathroom or a waiter who stood up for himself when being bullied. However when a business truly sucks the terrible reviews can be hilarious. If you find any reviews that are so bad they are funny please submit them to thecrappycrapcrap.com

Vacation planning with map making
When you sign into your google account you can create place markers by clicking on “my maps”. A big factor in planing a trip is the distance between between places. Wouldnt it be great to know that the hotel your staying at has an extremely popular restaurant a block away? or that everyone loves the the hotel you booked but the restaurant downstairs is overpriced crap. Make a list of places you would like to be and map them in the unfamiliar city your in. Now you can group them by their proximity and accomplish more by traveling less.
Google maps even has features for directions by car, mass transit, bicycle and even walking. Planing a trip to NYC and would like to bike in central park? Wouldn’t be nice to have the reviews that explain the conviently located boat house restarant is shit? How about bicycle directions to an excellent casual restaurant 5 blocks away? That cool Island off the coast is reachable by 3 different ferries and where they depart from?

ohhhh yeah the features
Do I really need to mention every feature? like streetview? Browser built in google earth? photos in panoramio.com? Customisable printed directions?

Discover new trails and hikes.
When you look into wooded areas the satellite view allows you the ablity to discover new trail systems. Do enough research into the park and you can get proper park trail maps and permits.

Traffic!
Google maps has a layer for realtime traffic reports!

Take it all with you!
Personally I hate limitations. I want what I want here… and NOW! Take Google maps with you on your android or iPhone. Take your map creations, searches, and reviews with you.

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