Grabbing a copy of Google Earth today the download page pointed me in the direction of other things that I might find interesting, one of which was Google Mobile Maps. Essentially what it does is take the underlying database used by regular Google Maps, but put a J2ME front end onto the data so that you can access it from a mobile phone.
Of course with the volume of data that Google Maps chucks around, you’d expect the performance to not be exactly stellar, however I was really impressed by the speed with which it generated maps. I put in our post code and it zipped straight to our street. It even has the same choice as the full size Google Maps to switch to a satellite view – the shot above shows the satellite view of the Church.
But it’s not just the maps that have made the transition, it also hooks up to the search facilities to allow you to find local amenities such as restaurants and hotels. Coupled with the fact that it includes the Get Directions facility and it is a fantastic little package. Of course you’ll probably end up paying for it in data charges, but if you find yourself needing a map, all you need now is your mobile phone, nothing else. In fact the only feature it actually lacks, is the ability to work out roughly where you are but I suspect that may turn up at some point too. Even if it’s not something you’re going to use a lot, Google Mobile Maps is definitely a useful tool to have installed onto your phone for an emergency.