Going my own way- Leaving Google Maps

This is the product that I was most nervous about and most pleased with the result.

I should start by saying that maps are my business, so my uses for Maps include some unusual needs, I have figured out how to replace those  so here I am just going to be focusing on what I use maps for in my personal life.

There were basically two- Dots on a Map and GPS replacement

Putting dots on a map- You have a spreadsheet with addresses or even lats and longs and you want to see them on a map and maybe even see some data under it.

In the past the options would have been limited.  There is Bing which is just going to Microsoft.  There is the very virtuous Open Street Map which has great ethics but a clunker of an interface.

Luckily there is a fairly new option that does what I want much better ArcGis online is the public webmapping platform created by the worlds largest professional map software company.  The depth shows in the data available, but the interface is easy to use.   To get that spreadsheet up you just pick your basemap and then drag and drop your spreadsheet on to the screen.  This is a good product for this application.

GPS Replacement- I found a product with ethics I can get behind, an interface that is more fun and that meets my requirements for turn by turn navigation from an android app Waze is, so far, all win for me on the GPS replacement front, and it makes just driving around a lot of fun because I can up my score by improving their maps!

I can’t get rid of Google Maps on my phone until I root it, and I am not doing that until after Dragon*Con, but I deleted all my data and downgraded it.   I am ready to get it off my phone now thanks to Waze. 🙂


5 Comments on “Going my own way- Leaving Google Maps”

  1. carbonize says:

    Except Waze’s maps for here in the UK are basic at best and missing many roads. I have also read accounts of it’s routes not being that good.

    • vrimj says:

      That is a shame I was hoping with the ordinance survey data being available the UK would have good map data.

      The routing has options, you do need to turn off the “collect cookies” option which will allow some divergence to map paths or check on traffic in order to get the fastest route, but that is not usually an issue for me during in town driving. I like using less traveled roads on occasion, but I see how others could find it annoying.

      • carbonize says:

        Been about a year since I tried it but back then it was missing many of the side roads for the town I live in. I never understood why they wanted the users to build up the map instead of using something like Open Source Mapping.

      • vrimj says:

        I think this was one of those cases where they had bad legal advice and were afraid of open source data making them share stuff like traffic reporting and the like, but I don’t know. I do agree that if Waze would hook up with OSM they could totally form something much more awesome then the current waze product.

      • souraya says:

        right totally agree with you. it can lead to both things

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