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Apps Tech

Google Maps streamlines look and adds hotspots

Let’s face it. Google Maps is bloated. It’s like the MySpace of maps with a bunch of different custom options and toolbars.

But Google released an update yesterday that promises to declutter its design.

“So as part of this update, we’ve removed elements that aren’t absolutely required (like road outlines).”

Google also added a new feature to spotlight potential “areas of interest.” If there’s anything we learned from Pokemon Go, it’s that people want to explore new places.

“As you explore the new map, you’ll notice areas shaded in orange representing “areas of interest”—places where there’s a lot of activities and things to do.”

Maps are essential to our mobile experience. Without GPS, we’d be lost. While Apple’s Maps app has improved, Google still has more location-based data, something Foursquare is also optimistic about.

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Apps Social Media

Reading: A 21st-Century Migrant’s Essentials: Food, Shelter, Smartphone

I joked 3 weeks ago on Instagram that all you really need is ‘wifi and water.’ But it’s not far from the truth for migrants in today’s world.

“Every time I go to a new country, I buy a SIM card and activate the Internet and download the map to locate myself.”

Today’s migrants are bypassing traffickers and instead choosing to travel on their own, using tips from others shared on social media.

Migrants are a microcosm of what Westerners do locally, every day: check Google Maps, share their experiences online, and learn from each other so they can navigate life themselves. We’re all DIY digital nomads.

New York Times:  “A 21st-Century Migrant’s Essentials: Food, Shelter, Smartphone


Speaking of learning things online, a “Kenyan won the gold medal in javelin after learning how to throw on YouTube.”

“My coach is me, and the YouTube videos,” Yego said. Why? “Everybody in Kenya is a runner.”

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Asking for Directions

No one asks for directions anymore, nor do they use an external GPS. They just navigate to their destination using the Google Maps app with GPS pre-installed.

The impact is two-fold:

  1. People don’t need maps, nor do they need to know how to read one. They just listen to the machine and depend on it to tell them where to go.
  2. The locals, even the manager at the gas station, feels a bit lonelier. We used to use them as guideposts, and they used us to gauge interest in their community.

When technology replaces old maps and people we lose the chance to problem solve and interact. We never get a chance to learn from our mistakes or be misled, impeding our brain’s ability to form new connections and strengthen our instincts.

Outsourcing the human mind to machines is supposed to free up time so we can move on to do bigger and more important things. But it’s only making us lazier.

Elon Musk has already started making the the first self-driving car to be available in three years. Once we go on autopilot we risk losing our faculty of mind.

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This can’t be right.   Google+ is more popular than the Twitter Mobile App?   Based on sheer utility, I can see how Google Maps gets more active widespread use. 
This can’t be right.   Google+ is more popular than the Twitter Mobile App?   Based on sheer utility, I can see how Google Maps gets more active widespread use.