OK, this is off topic for this weblog, but I took the afternoon off and I'm looking for an excuse to delay going outside to wash my decks, so I'll take up a few lines to recommend my favorite new web app, one designed for your cell phone. It's the new mobile edition (beta) of Google Maps. I have it installed on my T-Mobile BlackBerry 8700g, but it's available for a wide variety of phones.
I think it's better than the main web version, which I've also used a lot and prefer to MapQuest, and in some ways better than an expensive talking GPS for your car. On the PC, you print out a set of directions which are, frankly, dangerous to follow if you're driving without someone in the right seat and impossible to see at night. However, on the phone, you just punch the number 3 to step through the route (or 1 to step backward) on the lighted phone face. You never lose your place.
But wait, there's more. It also has a nifty Find Business function. So when my sister and I were in Sitka, Alaska earlier this month and she needed a refill on an important medication, I just typed in pharmacy, sitka, ak and several popped up. I did the same earlier this week for florist, laramie, wy when I wanted to order flowers on the way home for the anniversary of my oldest daughter and husband. For each hit, you get an address, phone number, and of couse the points are displayed on a map. You can select the phone number to call or you can use the address as an end point for directions from where you are. There's more, too, but you get the idea.
No GPS, of course, but then it doesn't cost two grand to add to your vehicle and I'm happy to give up the helpful voice and ability to quickly recompute directions for a missed turn for free and easy-t0-use. And it works when I'm a pedestrian also. Besides that, I don't know if the in-dash units will find me a florist in Laramie.
To check out the availbility for you phone, go to maps.google.com/gmm. I give this five out of five icicles on the coolness rating scale. It's worth upgrading to a new phone that runs it. --Dennis