Can you think of one of the preinstalled apps on your iPhone or iPad that doesn’t get much attention? If you said the Maps app, then you’re just like me. This past June I relied on this app to point me in the right direction and it wasn’t just because it gave me directions. Like most of us in the smartphone era, we rely so heavily on our devices they become a crutch. When I was planning my trip to Chicago for Tech Week this year, I found a great way to utilize some of the features in Maps.
I live in the Chicago area, but when it comes to heading downtown, I’m pretty much a visitor. As I was planning my travels to Tech Week 2014 in Chicago, I had to figure out where I was going to park around the Merchandise Mart. There are numerous public parking garages around the Merchandise Mart, so I knew I could get close. Which one I would find space at was a mystery though. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about living around Chicago is there’s always something going on here—especially during the summer months.
As I was checking out all the parking garages around the Merchandise Mart, I started to get a bit confused on where they were located in reference to where I needed to enter for Tech Week Chicago. Viewing the overhead map is a bit confusing, so I switched to the 3D mode to eventually flyover certain areas around the event to familiarize myself with where I was headed before I arrived. I figured it was better to know what my plan of attack was before I got there so I wasn’t standing around searching and wasting time. This is when it dawned on me how useful this would be for other trips I take to Chicago or any other major metropolitan area for that matter.
I know what you’re probably thinking, “Why don’t you just get directions from your current location to where you need to go?” When you get directions to a specific address you may need a bit more details. An example of this is when you head to a sporting event. There might be information printed on your ticket telling you the best entrance to take that’s closest to your seats. Simply going directly to the events address won’t give you this specific entrance to use.
A little research prior to heading out will allow you to find something specific and then use the flyover function to familiarize yourself with where you need to go. The detail you can see using this feature is so great, you’ll might be able to recognize landmarks when you arrive so you know you’re headed in the right direction.
I’ve fully embraced using my iPhone and iPad in so many different ways. There are times when I still have to do a little bit of research on my own since there are cases when these devices don’t completely tie up all the loose ends. A feature I used to simply use to look at things from a different perspective has now become something I’ll add to my list of things to review before going on my next trip downtown so I know what I should be looking for before I get there.