Google Maps is global leader in local and international mapping having created, to an extent, ‘a digital mirror to the world’. RAC route-mapper is but a distant memory and today’s master of the route, Google Maps, with its real-time data, is deemed an essential tool for all travelers on two legs and four wheels; it’s a wonder we survived without it until 2005. Up until now it has required an internet connection to work. Luckily, it has recently been announced that Google Maps is set to go offline from the end of this year with the sole view of ‘mak[ing] traveling and exploring new places easier for people.' Amen to that.
There’s no doubt that the internet has shone a spotlight on destinations. Five years prior to Google Maps, TripAdvisor arrived on the scene to mark the start of mass online public judgement of place, and is now widely regarded as the first port of call for most holiday-makers choosing where to wine and dine or lay their weary heads.
Since then Facebook has played a role in sign-posting ‘must see’ places locally and internationally. Moving on from simply allowing users to ‘check-in’ and create travel maps, Facebook's app for iPhone has recently added another string to its bow with Facebook 'Place Tips’, which shows you more information about places you visit, including your friends’ photos, experiences and moments from said place.
Apps designed to sign-post us in the right direction of those hidden gems we’re all too keen to feast our eyes on are increasingly emerging. Find my pick of 4 below and see what they have to offer...
Walking The Line
Just over a week ago London welcomed its first dedicated contemporary art walk to the city. Designed to make art more accessible to the masses and to encourage Londoners to discover the East like never before, The Line takes explorers between Stratford and North Greenwich, following the Greenwich Meridian line. Co-founded by Art Dealer Megan Piper and Regeneration Specialist-come-Urban Transformer Clive Dutton OBE, the project relies on the support of visitors, patrons and businesses for its very existence, demonstrating the potential for urbanists, artists and both the public and private sectors to collaborate.
The Line professes that ‘no one journey is the same’, and given that part of the route is temporarily blocked off, and that people are bound to take their own detours, I’m sure this will prove true.[...]