Map Apps

Map Apps


I've been testing out different apps in preparation for a two-week road trip that I am taking completely on a megabus. Since I'll be having long layovers in different cities that I don't know at all, I'm especially looking for apps that are good for walking around and contain information about smaller cities since I'll be visiting not only Atlanta and Nashville, but Montgomery and Huntsville, Alabama.

I haven't seen this cartoon in probably three decades, but I can still remember the Peanuts comic about when Charlie Brown sent Snoopy out to find his real mom at the puppy farm. When Linus asks Charlie Brown if he had given Snoopy a map, Charlie Brown hesitates. “Well,” he says, “I gave him something like that.” The cartoon cuts to Snoopy, holding a globe in one hand and looking down. “They longitude and latitude lines should be marked on the ground somewhere” Snoopy says.
A lot of map apps make me feel that same way. Google maps can be absolutely impossible to use and is also extremely slow. I hate how it refreshes for no reason (i.e. even if you're standing still) and then if you're not using a wireless signal (which you probably are not, because you're walking around), it takes forever to refresh and you're stuck tapping your foot, wishing the longitude and latitude lines were marked on the ground somewhere.

For most medium sized and above cities, I'm really digging hopstop. Yes it works mostly for public transit, but you can also use it to determine walking directions, which it can give you step by step like you're using your car GPS. Now if it could only read them to me, I wouldn't bump into as many people as I explore new cities.