Entries matching tag 'maps'
I went to Beijing a few years ago for work and found time on the side to do some exploring. I had a lot of trouble speaking Chinese — mainly because I don’t know Chinese. :) Beijing is a large city. It was hard to expect every cab driver to know each and every small street. Every morning I would leave my hotel and have the concierge tell the cab driver where to take me. But what to do after a long night out when it came time to come back to the hotel? Luckily for me, the hotel business cards had a small map on the back side. No matter where I ended up in the city, when it came time to go home, I would take out my card and point it at the driver. And so found my way back home.
Why do I blog this? I was recently thinking about how locators worked before we all had something digital in our hands. Sometimes, we don’t need anything fancy to find our way, just a single flat structure that says “this is home”. Timo has a good collection of locators called “Here“.
I don’t play nearly enough GTA4 as I probably should. Most of my friends have already finished it. I guess I’m just no good at this gaming thing. It’s mainly because I haven’t factored in much “gaming” time into my daily schedule. And it’s not because the game is super-challenging. In fact, the game holds your hand for most scenarios and makes sure you can finish it in a “movie”-style sequence.
The GPS-enabled map in GTA is one of the game’s most useful features. It automatically tracks your car’s current location in the game. Not only does it layout the entire grid of the city and highlight certain key places but, much like in a real car, it also allows you to set “way marks”. This allows you to indicate your destination to the positioning system. So once this way mark is set, all that’s left to do is to follow the green line to your desired location. This got me thinking: Given the size of the game, would the average person even be able to finish it without such a feature? I can think of many drives in-game when I’ve hardly looked away from the map. This is especially true of situations where I’ve been constrained for time and had to finish a certain task quickly.
It reminded me of a recent driving experience in real life. I went to visit my friend Rob in San Francisco and got to take his Prius for a spin. It was my first experience driving in a car with GPS. And I believe we spent more time looking at the GPS map than we did at the real San Francisco.
Next time, I’m going to turn off the GPS.