Now that I have a data plan, I can leverage google maps somewhat to orient locally. Unfortunately there are some disconnects between Google Maps and My Map (ex-Maps Engine.)

Using My Maps Pro you can drop custom pins for locations, and access these custom maps from the android with the My Maps app. The compass function seems to be busted on My Maps, but at least the GPS shows where you are, if not which direction you are headed. It’s also kind of clunky if you start adding layers to put pins for different purposes (restaurants, businesses, etc.) as you can not move things from layer to layer without some hackery with KML exports and imports. But it does shore up some weaknesses with Google maps in that you can actually save a new and unique location rather than just star a favorite place that has already been previously assigned. And add some notes to it…somewhat.

I tried Map Factor and it did a good job with orientation and tracking distances (had it installed for the first 3 days and we walked a total of just over 18 miles!) It uses OpenStreetsMap data but was so cluttered with icons it was difficult to see where you were going and was clunky to add your own markers.

Meh, this is probably a better topic for one of my other techy blogs. There may be a nice opportunity for an application that leverages google maps but adds intuitive features like location drops and notes, compasses, pedometer and location based reminders and notes in a single app.

We looked at a couple of places today. Will probably go for the one we saw available in April 1st, but also checking back when the manager is in on another that was a few blocks up the street that “may” have vacancies. Had some of my favorite Ecuadorian soup: potato, cheese and avocado.

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