Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Using GPS and Google Maps in Thailand

We live in amazing world of technology now. I went to a resort last week and all I had to do was to enter the destination into the online Google Maps Java App and it did the routing for me. Drove happily on and on following the purple line on the map and it lead me through the jungles of Kanchanaburi towards my destination.

Note the keyword… ONLINE Google Maps. Deep into the mountain roads, no more GSM. No more GSM means no more GPRS. No more GPRS means no more Google Maps. Only one blue GPS dot – me, on blank screen. Halleluiah. My brain was as empty as the blank screen. I had to drive all over to very high spots to get GSM – GPRS – Google Maps. Further readings of the route revealed that some asshole GeoTag the resort on the wrong side of the river. Halleluiah number 2. There was only one bridge that my car can cross the river, 1 hour’s journey back. Halleluiah number 3. All road labels in Google Maps are in Thai, no way to change the language. Halleluiah number 4. Follow alternative road to some famous well known landmarks to get back on track, but was lead to off road tracks only accessible by 4WD. Halleluiah number 5.

Google Maps on mobile phones, I am sure Google can do better and have offline maps (please…). GeoTags by independent individuals on the World Wide Web, cannot trust. Lost for 2 hours in the midst of buffalos, cows, chickens, rice farms and roads full of portholes.

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