10 June 2013

Apple and Google maps at NTRPGC

No, the Old San Antonio Road wasn’t involved in me getting to or from NTRPGC, but its sign seem appropriate to the topic.

My experience with the map apps while attending the North Texas RPG Con this year...

Apple maps did it great job of getting us near the hotel. It thought the hotel was a couple blocks from where it really was, but at least I could see it. (And, yes, I submitted the mistake to Apple.)

For nearby points-of-interest (i.e. restaurants), it failed. It didn’t show them all and was mistaken about the locations of those it did have. On the POI side, the Google maps app proved flawless. It appeared to show all the nearby restaurants, and it had their locations spot-on.

So, when we left and headed out to pick up my daughter from her grandmothers’, it was Google maps’ turn to fail. First off, the app just gave me a text list of the route choices, which didn’t give me a good way to judge between them. It told me to get off a highway only to get back on to it a few miles later, which added a lot of unnecessary extra time. To exacerbate things, construction meant I couldn’t get back on that highway. After adding about a 20 minute extra delay to a 30 minute trip, I switched back to Apple maps to help find an alternate route.

The road construction in the D/FW area seems out-of-control. It’s a real mess. Apple maps tripped up on it once as well, but it luckily recovered quickly. So, the delay was perhaps not completely Google maps’ fault, but it picked a screwy route even if there hadn’t been construction to exacerbate things.

Of course, this is just one anecdote that I wouldn’t want to generalize too much from. The lessons I’m taking away from this are:

  • It’s a good idea to check both Apple and Google maps when possible.
  • Start with Apple maps for guided turn-by-turn directions.
  • Start with Google maps for POIs or finding the exact location of the destination at the end of an Apple maps route.


Craig Weeks said...

Thank you finally clearing up the "OSR" sign between Caldwell and College Station. I've wondered about that for a long time.

Vernell said...

This is cool!