The Cartographer - a Mobile App Travelers Need

There’s an interesting mobile app in development which I’m quite excited about (besides mine, Tuscany for Foodies, which is nearing completion). The mapping app you might be interested in is called The Cartographer. It’s made for the small screen of the iPhone right now, but later will be expanded to include the larger iPad.

The Cartographer allows you to do a couple of really interesting things. First, you can annotate Google maps before you go on vacation. Yep, set your pins in the places you’ve read about and annotate them so you’ll remember why you wanted to go there. Then—and here’s the good part—you can download a slew of Google maps so they’ll be available when you’re in some little burg without wireless or in a country like Italy that drank America’s hysteric terrorist Koolaid and made open internet connections illegal (terrorists, you see use internet, so you have to make the unidentified use of it illegal. They also use toilet paper, but facts like that don’t seem to occur to people who let governments think for them).

Anyway, I’ll probably use this app in reverse of the tourist’s usage, by annotating locations I’ve discovered while I’m traveling and sending you to see the best of them. It’s cheaper that way.

Lots of people dislike the ancient parchment look of the app—and the script-like font—but I kinda like it. It makes the reality of mapping new worlds sorta romantic, as if you were thrust back in the day when you used shiny and pointy instruments to mark up a map and to measure distances while the unwashed masses looked on in amazement, hoping to see the path to treasure at the end of those sexy curved lines.

Anyway, the potential is great, and the author assures me a simple update will soon enlarge the viewport and we’ll be able to see it work full screen on the iPad.

I’m getting excited about getting back to Europe. I know the weather’s bad there, but here in Palm Springs—in the Desert fer Pete sakes—we’ve had constant rain for so long I’m building an ark in the sand out of tossed-off palm fronds.

You never know.

Read More (or buy the app): The Cartographer – A Tasty Pixel

The Cartographer - a Mobile App Travelers Need originally appeared on , updated: Dec 22, 2010 © .



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