Free maps after all?

Terrence Barr - Evangelist, Java Mobile & Embedded Terrence.Barr at Sun.COM
Thu Feb 8 16:00:36 CET 2007

Florent THIERY wrote:
> Yes, but consider it differently:
> You are at home and you're going to go soon somewhere. Before going, 
> your handset is connected to Internet using usblan or bluetooth, and you 
> plan your trip; the app asks you where you want to go, fetches gps info 
> for the starting point, and caches all the needed maps for the way. When 
> you travel, it gives you directions. It's more travel planning than real 
> GPS mapping.

That seems to be the way smart2go works. But you can also pre-load
maps via a PC.

My understanding is that at least Google maps doesn't offer to
pre-load maps. It just caches the route you're asking for, not a
whole area. So if you need to change your route along the way and
have no wireless you're lost.

> If you're lost, you bring up the gprs line and do the same thing; one 
> can imagine a lighter version (text-only?) Do you really need maps ALL 
> the time? Well, more when you plan to travel or when you're lost / 
> looking for something. That's why i thing it can be interesting to adpot 
> a ponctual point of view.
>     But what if you are in a remote area without wireless access, i.e.
>     when you
>     need the maps most?
> I don't know for the entire world, but in my country i can get a gprs 
> connection averywhere...

There are still quite a few places even in densely populated areas
that have no wireless coverage. Plus, if you're in a foreign country
you pay outrageous data roaming charges. Finally, large parts of the
rural USA, for example, have no digital coverage at all (only analogue).

>     I'd rather be safe and have 1 GB of map data on my mobile, ready
>     when I need it.
> Yup, but 1 GB of maps is quite a big part of the storage cake... What 
> area would 1 GB of map device cover in your opinion (in a dense area)?

I have a 2 GB smc card in my phone. 1 GB supposedly gives you street-level
coverage of almost all of Western Europe, according to the TomTom product

That leaves me with another GB for all my other storage needs.

-- Terrence
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