July 23, 2014

How To Properly Use Google Maps: A Satirical Narrative

google_maps_terrainWith all of the new Lab features included in the latest version of Google Maps(3.3.1), it’s very easy to feel overwhelmed. You may ask yourself, “How could the terrain layer possibly assist me in getting me where I’m going?”, “How does knowing what’s nearby help me when I know where I’m going?”, and most importantly, “Is Street View only for my creepy neighbour?”

Firstly, let’s pick a scenario we encounter almost every day, or at least once a week I hope! I’m headed out with friends to the latest club “Tila Tequila.” We all know Jamie’s directions go something along the lines of, “Ya man, my iPhone says it’s like just down the street from Starbucks.” You are a person of great intellect and are instantly insulted, but know Google is your Kirk to his Picard. You launch Google Maps, type in your destination and click go. Done? No, why not go 8 steps further, because in your hands is a device that will make you feel like you’ve been there a dozen times.

Step 1 – Check the traffic. Layers includes an option to let you know what traffic is like on the way to your destination. You now know what time to leave to make yourself as fashionably late as you like.

Step 2 – Check the satellite view. Layers has a satellite view that will show you whether it’s in an upscale part of town or in the straight-up ghetto. You now know how to dress for your night out.

Step 3 –  Check transit lines. Layers will show you directly on screen all the transit lines available to get you as close to the club as possible. You now know whether you’re drinking the legal limit, or getting totally trashed.

Step 4 – Check Google Street View. How better to get the good old tingly “deja vu” feeling then to know exactly what the club looks like before you get there.

Step 5 – Check Google Latitude. Another layer feature offered that is just creepy enough to let you know how far your friends are from arriving at the club. Although you can usually know this just by the secret nicknames you’ve given all your friends… Johnny-on-the-spot, Where’s Waldo, etc.

Step 6 – Google Navigation. Hit a home run and never miss your destination with Google Nav mothering you all the way to your destination.

Step 7 – What’s Nearby? By clicking on the address of the club you are instantly shown the closest places of business to you. Maybe it turns out the line’s too long, fake ID doesn’t work, or maybe you just need some greasy hangover food. The night is still young and you have the technology.

Step 8 – Check the terrain. With the terrain layer it is now within your power to know the tallest mountain to throw yourself off of after going crazy with all of Google’s latest options.

If this doesn’t convince you to push Google Maps to it’s limits, then maybe you’re not ready for the Android revolution.

Cheers to Google for overdoing it.