Task 4 – Google Maps and Docs

I do love using Google Maps. I have been using it for quite some time as my primary means of navigation. Lacking a car navigator, and reluctant to acquire one because I just plain dont like be told what to do by an insistent voice on the dashboard, and no longer having the eyesight to distinguish the fine print in a street directory (especially at night), my chosen method now is to consult Google maps before I leave, getting a point to point set of directions, printing it out and carrying it with me. I have found this works quite well, its essentailly an wired version of the old mud maps we used to obtain from friends & family before travelling somewhere.

As per the instructions for the task. I checked Google maps for the location of my campus (Gatton), typed in the name of the campus, it came up without trouble, and found a bonus – the map not only has a detailed street map of the campus, but includes the names and/or numbers of the most important buildings. This would obviously be extremely useful for someone who did not have a campus map on them when they arrived. If they had an IPad or iPhone, they could instantly call up the map and locate where the building they wanted was located.

I then used Google Maps to find my home, a well-worn path since I’ve done it before (isnt that the first thing everyone tries in Google maps?) As always, slightly disturbed by the full colour Street View pic of one’s house that comes up (with my car obligingly parked in front), but as always equally entranced by the 360 view feature that enables you to figuratively stand in the street and twirl round for a flawless 360 degree view of your sourroundings. Stunning the first time you do it, it always leaves me breathless at the potential of modern technology.

I then got a bit more adventurous and looked up not my present home, but my past homes, going back to my houses in Home Hill & Cairns from a decade or two ago. Found all of them without difficulty, however only my former house in Cairns had Street View, so I was able to see that it now has trees that werent there in my time, then did the 360 and found that what used to be a petrol station/7-11 across the road has now metamorphosed into a bait shop. Amazing whatt you can discover without leaving your desk. Wonderful thing, Google maps.

Next I had a look at Google Drive. I was unable to install it on my desk PC (damn administrator privileges), but downloaded it my iPad & iPhone, then uploaded a file to the non-installed browser verion on the PC and Hey presto!, it almost simultaneously appeared on the iPad & iPhone! Magic! i was very impressed with it and straight away saw the potential for use in meetings, classes or anywhere else away from my desk, also for transferiing files quickly and painless from my desk to my home PC etc. If it works consistently (and I really will have to test it under field conditions, like when I’m visiting St Lucia next week), this could be a real boon. I can see it solving so many problems.

All in all, a very successful & interesting task. Two very different, but extremely useful applications.

Looking forward to the next task very much.

Catch you next week!

Google Maps – 9/10

Googel Drive – 9/10

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