I wonder how many people are like me. (at least for this moment!)
When I travel somewhere, I will open Google Maps and ask for driving directions. Yes, I know that gives Google an indication of where I currently am, what my interests might be depending upon my destination, and places of interest along the way. But you can’t get free roadmaps at the gas station any more.
I find it to be a wonderful tool but there’s also one other thing that I do particularly if I’m headed to someplace new.
On the map, I’ll pull out “Peg Man” and drop “him” in front of the place on the map and have it drop to StreetView. You see, at least for me, it’s one thing to have driving directions but it’s another thing to know what my destination is going to look like when I get there.
Now, there’s always a few challenges in this.
- If I’m suitably zoomed out on the map, my view may just be close to my destination instead of right on. I might be a block or two away
- It’s a rare time that the orientation upon landing is correct. I swear that I’m jinxed because more often than not, the destination is behind me instead of in front of me
So, “Peg Man” typically gets me close. Then, I’ll virtually drive up or down the road and spin around until I see what looks like my destination. Usually, if it’s a store, there’s a big sign or if it’s a house, I can zoom in on the address number.
But, there’s a quicker way to get right to the spot. This past weekend, I had to go to St. Mary’s High School in Owen Sound. Instead of Google Maps directly, I used Instant Street View. This is a side project from Nick Nicholaou and it’s built on the Google Maps API so you still get all that Google goodness.
But check out my view when I typed the name of the school in my search.
The only thing that was missing was knowing where the school parking lot was! I had a 50-50 chance and so turned right and saw the gated parking lot exit! I headed down a big hill, turned around, went up the hill and noticed a really nice entrance to the parking lot had I turned left. (Bottom line – don’t ask me for directions)
But, give Instant Street View a couple of tries from where you are and see if it doesn’t change your mapping life. Imagine how you’ll impress people by getting the destination right the first time without spinning them around.