Items tagged with navigation

Something interesting is going on with Google Maps regarding a “new” feature. Some people are claiming they have had this feature for a long time, others are seeing it for the first time. The feature in question is incident reporting, something that has made navigation app Waze popular with users. Google has long had traffic information integrated, but data on road work and closures hasn't been part of the app for most users. While some users are claiming, according to reports, to have had incident reporting for a year or more, others haven’t had it at all. I personally use Google Maps in the Colorado Springs/Denver areas all the time and haven’t had incident reporting... Read more...
One of the great things about navigation apps on our smartphones is that they help us to easily get from Point A to Point B without having to really think much about it. They can automatically reroute you to save time, and take you through some off-the-beaten-path routes to avoid more congested roadways. The non-discriminatory nature of navigation apps like Google Maps and Waze means that some relatively low-traffic locales have now become bumper-to-bumper nightmares. Such is the case with the small New Jersey town of Leonia. The quiet community is a suburb of New York City and has a population of fewer than 9,000 people. However, modern navigation apps have turned what were previously lightly... Read more...
Motorists should take caution when driving in the direction of California's wildfires, even when using a navigation app that is continually updated. Case in point, users of Waze and other similar navigation apps report that driving directions have pointed them squarely to where the wildfires are raging, including roads that have been closed down or otherwise blocked off because of the fires. The aftermath of a wildfire in 2015 (Image Source: Flickr via Bob Dass) Apps like Waze use a combination of artificial intelligence and driver input to stay up to date with current conditions. In theory, these apps should warn drivers of dangerous areas and offer a different route to their destination. And... Read more...
Do you get nervous and start sweating bullets when you have to make a left-hand turn at a busy intersection with no stop light? The scenario is a little more common in big and busy cities like Los Angeles, and to make commutes a little less stressful for drivers, Waze created a new routing feature that bypasses intersections altogether when possible. The feature is rolling out first to to L.A., one of the busier and more crowded places in the U.S. to drive, particularly during rush hour. To identify the intersections that are most troublesome to drivers, Waze said it worked closely with the local map editor and employee community. "They shared lists of what they perceived to be the most difficult... Read more...
There are very few voices as recognizable as Morgan Freeman’s. In addition to playing God in the “Almighty” movies alongside Jim Carey and Steve Carrel, and the unforgettable “Red” in the Shawshank Redemption (which is still the top rated movie of all-time on IMDB), among countless other unforgettable parts, Morgan Freeman has narrated everything from “A Raisin in the Sun” to “War of the Worlds”.Credit: flickr.com/photos/kimstovring/His latest gig will likely win over some die-hard road warriors though, because Morgan Freeman’s voice is now an option in the popular community-based traffic and navigation app, Waze.The Waze Facebook page announces the availability of Freeman’s voice with,... Read more...
Knowing how to get from point A to point B is important, that's why GPS devices and mapping programs exists. But if you want to get to your destination in a timely manner, directions alone aren't enough. Knowing the traffic conditions can be instrumental in selecting the most appropriate route, and to help you do that, Bing Maps now lets your view over 35,000 traffic cameras spread across 11 countries. To view them, you have to turn on the traffic layer in Bing Maps, which you can do by clicking on Traffic (it sits in between Directions and My Places). Turning it on will place a traffic information overlay on the roads. When you zoom in to an area with traffic cameras, you can view how clear... Read more...
If you use Google Maps on your iPhone device, head to the App Store and download the latest update, version 4.12.0 (if you don't have it already). The latest release brings parity with the Android version by introducing spoken traffic alerts, a small but sometimes extremely helpful feature for motorists.When you're in navigation mode, the spoken traffic alerts feature will give you a heads up to things like traffic congestion, incidents on your route that might prompt you to find a different path towards your destination, and various traffic descriptions. It will do all this before you start driving so you don't get stuck in gridlock.This subtle yet highly useful feature has been available to... Read more...
A little-known company called CycleLabs has dreamed up a new navigation device for your bicycle, and it’s already blown well past the initial pledge goal of $50,000 with 28 days to go. The SmartHalo sits on your handlebars and gives you turn-by-turn directions to your destination by display simple signals on a circular display. After seeing the device guide bicyclists down city streets in the KickStarter video, it’s hard to imagine jumping onto a bike without one. The SmartHalo attaches permanently to your handlebars and connects to your phone, which is what you’ll use to choose a destination. Once that’s done, you can put your phone in your pocket and let SmartHalo handle the rest. Rather than... Read more...
On Android, given that it's built by Google, consumers already have access to what is arguably the best routing/navigational app in the known universe: Google Maps. But if for some reason that doesn't appeal to you, there's another major player coming to Android at long last. The HERE team is announcing this week that a beta of its mapping app is now ready for Android users, so long as you're using a Samsung device. Thanks to a licensing agreement with Samsung, it'll be available for free, exclusively for Samsung Galaxy smartphones like the Galaxy S5. What makes HERE special is that it'll work without an Internet connection. If you have a solid GPS signal, you're in business, even when it comes... Read more...
Google's Maps platform has rocketed into perhaps one of the most vital in the company's portfolio, both in terms of usefulness and in terms of user loyalty. This week, Google Maps is seeing a major update across both iOS and Android, adding a slew of new features and refining others. Now, for motorists in the United States as well as select other countries, you'll hear which lane to stay in (or move to) when approaching an exit. Plus, you'll have one-touch access to alternate routes as you're navigating. Better still, those headed into disconnected locales will appreciate the easier-to-use offline mode. Just find an area prior to leaving, zoom into, and select "Save map to use offline." Finding... Read more...
We're still at least a few years away from flying cars and teleportation devices becoming commonplace, but in the meantime, Garmin's ensuring the future is always within arm's reach by announcing HUD, the company's first portable head-up display for smartphone navigation apps. With HUD, a device about the size of a typical GPS unit sits on your dashboard and projects navigation information onto a transparent film that you apply to your windshield. HUD is able to provide comprehensive road guidance at a glance and right within the driver's line of sight, which in theory should make for safer drivers compared to looking over to the side at a traditional GPS or down at a smartphone. Speaking of... Read more...
GPS is a powerful navigational tool that’s changed the way we travel, but it’s not without its shortcomings. The simple chip-to-satellite communication can be disrupted far too easily, for example, such as when a user goes through a tunnel or if there’s simple interference nearby. Being that GPS was originally developed for the military, those limitations are not just inconvenient, but life- or mission-threatening. DARPA researchers at the University of Michigan have been developing a “timing & inertial measurement unit” (TIMU) that will augment GPS when needed to help a user navigate. “Three pieces of information are needed to navigate between known points... Read more...
Going skiing this winter? If so, be sure to bring Google up in the ski lift. The company has already accomplished some amazing things with Street View, but its latest achievement reaches beyond amazing and goes straight to useful. With timing that couldn't be more perfect, Google has added 38 run and lift maps for some of the most popular mountains across the US and Canada. Power up Google Maps on your Android device or iPhone, and the mountain information you need is right there. Blue, green and black runs are shown as solid colored lines and ski lifts are red dotted lines. Ski resorts in Google Maps can also be helpful when you’re gearing up for a trip. You can check out the maps on your... Read more...
For most smartphone owners, GPS has become an outright necessity. From navigation to deals apps that look at your present location to present offerings to you, there's a lot to be said about global positioning. But over the years, we've seen a few variations. There's GLONASS, for instance, and now China is predictably rolling out a variation of its own. China has long since made proprietary variations of wireless technologies. Some of its cellular waves are incompatible with radios elsewhere in the world, for example. This week, the nation launched commercial and public services of its Beidou satellite navigation system, which covers the entire Asia-Pacific rim. Trials on the technology started... Read more...
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