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What do you use to locate places on your itinerary? Paper map? Mobile app?

What do you use to locate places on your itinerary? Paper map? Mobile app?

Apr 4th, 2013, 12:57 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 187
What do you use to locate places on your itinerary? Paper map? Mobile app?

We'll be on holiday in Venice and Rome in a few weeks. (Our first trip there.)

We've created our itineraries (on paper) with addresses, entry fee information, etc. but once we get there is the old tried-and-true method of map in hand the best, or would using Google Maps be better (mark item on map then ask for walking directions - although I realise that this would mean International data charges on my phone), or ???

Would be really interested to hear how everyone executes their itinerary.

TeaLoverDenise is offline  
Apr 4th, 2013, 01:03 AM
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 119
I just got back from Rome - 90% of the time the tourist maps are good enough. For some obscure things and restaurants, it can be useful to have google maps on your phone to navigate in case of an emergency. No need to rely on it and spend unnecessary money.

Also maps in hand feel more like a holiday
Rushil is offline  
Apr 4th, 2013, 02:16 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,212
I use a map with Post It flags for easy identification of the sights I want to see. Never thought of using any thing else.

In Venice you can expect to get lost no matter what type of map/GPS you use.
adrienne is offline  
Apr 4th, 2013, 08:06 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 741
I usually have several paper maps. I buy a "Streetwise" map if there is one for the city/town where I am. I also have the map(s) in my guidebook (usually DK). Sometimes I have maps I have printed or copied from other guidebooks if they have different and/or more specific information (e.g. Frommers or Rick Steves). I have never used a GPS for this.
Delaine is offline  
Apr 4th, 2013, 08:14 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,159
Hey T,

> International data charges on my phone...<

You don't have to pay extra if you use a map.

I'm partial to Streetwise Maps.

You could get a GPS.

ira is offline  
Apr 4th, 2013, 08:36 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 20,657
I do not use electronic devices, but then I'm stuck in the 20th century.

This question came up this past week on NPR because Frommer's will stop printing its guide. Two persons were interviewed, one of whom was an editor at Condé Nast, who uses guidebooks and presumably paper maps over electronic devices on the road, and more interestingly pointed out a distinction between European tourists in the States who tend to use guidebooks whereas Americans have shifted to electronic devices. The participants in the discussion theorized that in part it reflected a fear of Americans of not keeping up with the latest developments if sticking to paper information.
Michael is offline  
Apr 4th, 2013, 10:05 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Each has pros and cons depending on your environment.

Access: For a Mobile app to work, you need 1. map and 2. good access to GPS signal. If you don't want to incur data charge, you need to buy on offline map if you have an iPhone. If you have an Android phone, did you know that you can keep up to 6 google offline maps at a time at not charge? Open google map app on Android, menu, then "make available offline." There is a size limit per map, but for Venice, you can cache entire Venice and up to Ferrara in one map. GPS signal access depends on many factors. You get less signal in densely built up area. Even when you get signal, because of the reflections off the building, you location jumps from one street to another. Also your phone's capability to capture GPS signals impacts your ability to use signal. One persons works great is someone else's useless.

Timeliness: GPS needs time to lock in the signal (if you get any signal at all) and then compute your location. Can you wait? If you leave GPS on all the time, it can leave you with no battery charge left on your phone.

Resolution: Online maps are nearly infinitely zoomable. Can you get maps with enough resolution? I think 10000:1 is minimum usable. I try to even better resolution map such as 8000:1.

Cost: As I mentioned, depending on your hardware, you don't have to incur any data roaming cost if you can cache in the maps or buy offline maps.

Visibility: Paper maps are visible in daylight, but not in the dark. Mobile app is the opposite, hard to see during the day, but great at night. When do you need to use it?
greg is offline  
Apr 4th, 2013, 10:08 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 46,061
Paper maps, always. I love maps. Problem is, a lot of people don't seem to understand scale.
StCirq is online now  
Apr 4th, 2013, 10:33 AM
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I have to agree with my old pal StCirq. Every time I get on a scale I don't understand it either.
RonZ is offline  
Apr 4th, 2013, 10:59 AM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,435
Paper maps for me. Next trip I may use Google maps on my iphone if I need them-have had trouble in the past locating hotels while driving.
dwdvagamundo is offline  
Apr 4th, 2013, 11:04 AM
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RonZ Good to see you! I have the same problem with my scale. Lately I know it's lying to me.
StCirq is online now  
Apr 4th, 2013, 11:33 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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<< Every time I get on a scale I don't understand it either. >>

This is an afternoon for funny posts! Lovin' it!
adrienne is offline  
Apr 4th, 2013, 12:56 PM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 273
Use both.

I have Streetwise laminated maps, and I use my tablet/phone without incurring data charges. I cannot get turn by turn directions this way, but I can zoom in and read the electronic map better than a paper one (so many small streets in Europe!).

I have stored some Google maps on my SD card, and I have also downloaded the Trip Advisor apps for the cities that I will be visiting. The TA apps work in the Airplane mode (offline) and will provide the following:

1. Hotels, restaurants, and attractions with phone numbers and addresses
2. Photos and reviews by travelers
3. A feature called "Near Me Now" to find things near you or any address you enter.
4. A zoomable map of the city.
5. Ability to put markers on the map of locations you will be at - VERY handy to be able to instantly find your location and zoom in to see where you need to go to get where you want to be next. I flag the hotel/apartment and all the places I plan to see.

Best of all, it's FREE! I have an Android OS, and the apps work GREAT. Cannot comment on how well they work with Windows or Apple products.

Happy Travels!
darlenef17 is offline  
Apr 4th, 2013, 03:07 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 187
Thanks all-really enjoyed your replies.

I have an Android phone so think I will check out that TripAdvisor app.

But like many of you, I like a good ol' map, as well.

Had totally forgotten about the GPS option - and we do have one.

But suppose I don't want things to be TOO orchestrated. ..must allow room for serendipity and discovery.
TeaLoverDenise is offline  
Apr 4th, 2013, 04:57 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,853
Streetwise maps, and I print out Google Maps for each area or day, with points of interest marked, numbered in priority.

If confused we just look at Google maps on the ipad that morning and write in adjustments or new places.

I will also print out some written directions.

And do leave time for serendipity and discovery!

Have a blast!
wrenwood is offline  

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