Technology & Social Media

Google Maps: Travel made easy

GoogleSaturdays at CPA Success are usually spent reviewing online tools that can help increase our productivity. Keep in mind that we do not endorse any of these services. We simply offer them up for your consideration. Do your own homework and find the service that best meets your needs.

I may be a year or two behind the times and completely out of touch -- and it wouldn't be the first time -- but I just discovered Google Maps, and lord, ain't it cool?

I installed it on my BlackBerry today as my family drove from Missouri to western Maryland for vacation. The first time I opened it, it told me exactly where we were.

"Hey, sweetheart, Google Maps just told me where we are!" I exclaimed.

"I know where we are," she said, unimpressed. "We're in Indiana."

OK, so knowing where I am isn't such a big deal. But how about this: Google Maps will give me directions on my mobile device from where I am to anywhere I want to go. It'll also tell me where the next BP station and McDonald's are. Think of the possibilities, from a business traveler's point of view. Pretty powerful tool. And it's free, too.

If you don't have a GPS-enabled device, Google Maps will determine your location by using information from nearby mobile towers ... although its ability to do so is spotty at times. You don't necessarily need GPS to use it, but it helps.

Are you using Google Maps? Is there similar software out there that's as good ... or better? Let us know what you're using.


Bill Sheridan