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Google Offering Live Traffic Maps via Cell Phones

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the live-sat-feeds-would-be-cooler dept.

178

Kranfer writes "Reuters is covering the newest offering from Google: real-time traffic mapping on your cell phone. Now you can check how the traffic is ahead of you, of course as long as you don't cause the traffic incident yourself by checking the local issues on your cell phone while driving. Point your cell phone browser to http://google.com/gmm to get your local traffic maps if you live within one of the 30 U.S. cities where this is available."

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I don't like this (4, Insightful)

millisa (151093) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776275)

Normally I am supportive of google and their endeavors . . . but I would argue that doing anything to *encourage* someone to be on their phone while driving wouldn't fall under the mantra 'Dont be evil'. It's bad enough people are talking and text messaging, but giving those retards who can't drive already an incentive to be less attentive . . .

You KNOW the times it'll be most hit is when people are stuck in traffic, which is when they should be most attentive to the road, not to their toys.

Bleh to this.

Re:I don't like this (2, Interesting)

gigne (990887) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776310)

I take it you disapprove of GPS navigation aids, or for that matter, a radio that might equally well distract you. Given that to use a phone in a car you have to have a holder or hands free kit (at least in the UK), doesn't this make it very similar to a GPS?

Re:I don't like this (4, Insightful)

millisa (151093) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776356)

Similar, but not the same. Navigational tools have hardware designed for that purpose. They are made with few buttons that can relay directions with the least amount of distraction. Cell phones generally aren't made this way since for some reason in the last 5 years they are to be the all-in-one wonder device (rather than a phone...). It means people will spend more time fiddling with the devices than they have any right to while driving a machine that can easily take lives. Even if there were 'hands-free' options created, I no more want some doof who's easily distracted using his phone than I want my doctor talking on his phone with a hands free kit while operating on me.

Radios aren't the same as they are passive devices (except for those ADD types who can't leave the dial alone, and in that case, they are just as bad . .not a justification for something that is worse to be 'ok').

If it takes your eyes off the road, it is bad. Plain and simple. Live traffic updates on a cell phone is just about guaranteed to do this.

Re:I don't like this (1)

Proud like a god (656928) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776426)

Talking on a hands-free kit is the same as talking to someone behind you in the same car. Would you bad talking in cars? In the UK we had this same fine line to avoid crossing concerning hands-free legislation.

Maybe they should add messing with your radio to the driving test, but they're legal and it's the driver's responsibility to use it and control the vehicle.

Re:I don't like this (1)

Proud like a god (656928) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776465)

Sorry, I meant ban talking, not bad.

Re:I don't like this (2, Funny)

kkrause (316375) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776730)

I would ban bad talking in cars and be done with it.

Re:I don't like this (1)

gigne (990887) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776430)

Agreed, but there is so little distinction between the 'converged' devices these days that There is no real difference. Take my TomTom. It has MP3, video you name it. In fact to to navigate/re-route takes an immense amount of finger poking. Now lets look at the stereo. My car came with a fancy all singing stereo. Now i'm not you ADD type who can't leave things alone, but thing thing is lit up like a christmas tree. There are so many buttons and dials it's nigh on impossible to figure out how to skip the track, never mind concentrating on the road while there is a mobile disco going on in the dash. Now I'm not defending driving whilst looking and poking a screen, that is clear lunacy. I do advocate safe driving, and it's the responsibility of the user to make sure they do things sensibly. If all goes wrong, it would be apropriate to use the old mantra "Blame the user not the tools" B

Re:I don't like this (3, Interesting)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776849)


Sure, there are similarities and differences between using a cell vs a radio, but I believe that the current cell implementation is much, much worse.

Similarities, people can be distracted while fiddling with cells and radios. More so with changing a CD than changing the station. But it pretty much stops there.

Cell phone conversations while driving seem to be increasing and the radio is pretty much a constant. Cell phone users while driving often appear (and statistically are similar) to drunk drivers. Actually, they drive worse because drunk drivers are more careful because they are scared of being caught. They often drive below the speed limit and/or speed of traffic. They make erratic and impulsive turns. They don't stay in their lanes. They are more engaged in their conversation than driving. The list goes on.

I would bet that my cell phone driver vs drunk driver detection skills have a ratio of about 10:1 probably closer to 50:1.

Now, with the new Google offering. Close but no cigar.

I've been talking about a new p2p user contributed realtime traffic, police, roadblock, etc monitoring system with a good UI that "just works".

To me, that would be excellent, and will happen. Kinda like the CBs of yesteryear, but more 2006ish.

Re:I don't like this (5, Insightful)

Skreems (598317) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776341)

Personally, I would use this to check out my route BEFORE getting in the car, as that's when I'd need to know which route to take. Putting it on a cell phone is just handy because terminals aren't always available.

I am curious why they don't have a "show traffic" option on their normal web-based interface, though... you'd think it would be pretty wildly popular with people about to leave to/from work.

I agree with that (2, Insightful)

millisa (151093) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776374)

I agree with you. I would use it on my consoles before going anywhere. The fact it is available on a phone is convenient and if most people were like you and checked before they drove and not while they drove, I'd be ra-ra-ing this as a great innovation.

It's just unfortunate that there's a big enough percentage of people who aren't you that we all know this won't be when it's used.

Re:I agree with that (3, Funny)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776428)

Are you kidding? Just wait for the story to appear on Slashdot regarding the update frequency of this service:

"I was driving along checking traffic on my cell phone, rear-ended someone in front of me, and my accident showed up on Google in just X minutes!"

Re:I don't like this (3, Informative)

generic-man (33649) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776527)

Seeing as though both Windows Live Local [live.com] (JavaScript) and Yahoo! Maps Beta [yahoo.com] (Flash) already let you view live traffic on the web, I'd guess it's only a matter of time before Google adds traffic as an option to their full-scale mapping app.

Re:I don't like this (1)

alphamerik (948212) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776802)

Personally, I would use this to check out my route BEFORE getting in the car, as that's when I'd need to know which route to take.

Right... because traffic jams are static.

Haven't you ever been on a long road trip, and wondered how long the jam was, or if there was a better highway to take?

Re:I don't like this (2, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776382)

" but I would argue that doing anything to *encourage* someone to be on their phone while driving wouldn't fall under the mantra 'Dont be evil'."

Try living in L.A.. If you're pulling out your phone to get a traffic update, the odds are pretty darned good you're already stopped.

Re:I don't like this (2, Insightful)

Alexandra Erenhart (880036) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776383)

50-50 agreeing or not on your comment. Since it is true that it can take your eyes off the road, smart people who wants to check the maps stop at the side of the road and checks it safely. Don't blame the tool, blame the user.

Re:I don't like this (1)

Pneuma ROCKS (906002) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776795)

Don't blame the tool, blame the user.

I agree with you, partly. Users are definitely responsible for misusing the tools they are given, but tool developers have the responsibility of creating tools that don't facilitate potentially damaging uses, or do so in the smallest way possible. We already know people are stupid, so we should develop tools under that assumption.

Re:I don't like this (1)

Alexandra Erenhart (880036) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776848)

What you say is true, but in the same line of thought, we shouldn't make a lot of other tools because of the same reason. Just think about nuclear power. With all of the very good uses we can give it, stupid people go and blast a lot of innocents using it. I completely agree that people are stupid. But not all. I still have some faith in mankind. Otherwise it would be very, very sad.

Re:I don't like this (4, Insightful)

madstork2000 (143169) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776408)

You don't necessarily have to be on the phone while driving, you could be a passenger. You could check it before leaving for work/home you could check it while at the gas station en-route.

Yes people will likely abuse it, like they abuse other tools. Complaining about useful tools. that could be abused is irritating and pointless.

Maybe they should shutdown their search engine too, I heard you can search for porno, bomb making materials, drug recipes, and lots of other naughty stuff. Heck maybe they should shut down the whole Internet because you KNOW people use it to steal credit card numbers, send spam and exploit children.

Short sighted, close minded people who shun new technology really drive me crazy, mainly because this knee jerk mentality is most often associated with the politicians, and lobbyists.

Oh well... My little comment and opinion won't change anything, but at least I got it off my chest.

BtW... The mobile maps application seems pretty slick in the few minutes I played with it (sitting at the safety of my desk). I am looking forward to some real word trials.

-MS2K

Re:I don't like this (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15776783)

I'm amazed that it took 14 posts for anyone to wrap their head about the concept of a passenger. Isn't this a place where people are supposed to think?

I'm loving this. (1)

mccdyl001 (808761) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776884)

I recently got myself a nokia N91, and have been looking for and loading a couple of useful programs I've come across. I'd seen some 3rd party app that interfaces with google maps to provide a cellphone version of it.

However, this offering from google really rocks. It's super quick (i'm testing it off my home wifi connection right now) and even though I can't get traffic congestion for my area (since I live in London), it's really useful. It took me literally a couple of seconds to add my main locations (work, home) as favourites. The functionality of this application is great - getting turn-by-turn directions is really simple, and it's very easy to step through the directions. To move to the next waypoint all you need to do is press 3. And you can switch between sat view and map view just as easily. Plus you can go to a location and then do a business search. Like if you're coming home from going out and really really need to find the closest kebab shop...

Anyway, if you've got a phone that this supports (and preferably have wifi connectivity) give this a try. Especially if you're in the states and can use the traffic congestion as well.

Re:I don't like this (2, Informative)

babtrek (256300) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776470)

I don't think its any more dangerous than the navigation systems in many cars now, now if they could make it talk to warn of problems.

Re:I don't like this (2, Interesting)

texaport (600120) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776544)

doing anything to *encourage* someone to be on their phone while driving

Instead of cities having traffic cameras every two miles, maybe Google can get people to stop in traffic and take pictures with their phone so we can have live shots every 50 meters?

A GoogleRewards program for every 10th upload from a major freeway.

Re:I don't like this (1)

955301 (209856) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776606)

Yeah, because helping a person who is stuck in traffic understand what caused the traffic jam is pure evil man, pure evil.

Well I do. (2, Insightful)

sublime_pie (935091) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776610)

Bad drivers will crash regardless of the reason. I don't see how this is any more dangerous than trying to drive while looking at a paper road map or a Google maps printout thereof. This will be great for all of the times that I get lost only to find I don't have a map in my car. And sure, I could simply buy a map for my car, but where would the fun in that be? As for the traffic congestion, I don't see any danger in looking down at your cell phone and plotting out an alternative route while you're parked in gridlock rush hour traffic.

I *hate* this (1)

Roadkills-R-Us (122219) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776652)

Drivers using cell phones for voice are bad enough, drivers trying to *look* at their cell phones are a truly terrifying thought.

This may be the first time I'm actually *glad* I no longer have a street bike, and it's making me wonder if it's not time to trade in the Miata for a surplus HumVee with armor plating.

Re:I don't like this (2, Insightful)

katsiris (779774) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776707)

Seems a little short-sighted to me. Yes, it's possible, and I agree probable, that people will check in their car. But what if I'm out and want to check conditions before I come home? Should I be denied this feature because some idiot might check it while driving? Should all society be locked into a bubbled room because one person might find a way to hurt themselves and others?

Now, I still agree with you, but I imagine the intent here is a stepping stone to real-time in-car routing that factors traffic into the equation. Getting from a-z often involves stopping at several letters on the way.

Re:I don't like this (1)

vhogemann (797994) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776776)

It's not like Google has a plan to fool every driver into using his cellphone while driving. This way raising the number of car crashes... what will make the insurance companies go bankrupt... causing a collapse to the USA economy ... what will bring the dollar value down, and will allow Google to buy the entire Country!!!

Hummm, Brain... what are we going to do tonight?

Re:I don't like this (2, Interesting)

Serengeti (48438) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776880)

Everyone who navigates city streets does not necessarily drive a car.

And. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15776282)

So what.

Ah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15776299)

Finally an evil beta product!

Windows mobile? (3, Interesting)

a_nonamiss (743253) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776301)

I'm running Windows Mobile 5.0, and I get "Google Maps may not work on on your cell phone. If you'd still like to try, download Google Maps for a high end phone or a mainstream phone."(US/Canada)

If this thing's not going to work on Windows Mobile 5.0, I'm not sure for whom it's intended.

Re:Windows mobile? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15776329)

Newsflash - the majority of phones/devices out there don't run Windows Mobile. Works fine on my BlackBerry.

Re:Windows mobile? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15776400)

Not really sure what Windows Mobile has to with it. This app is J2ME. Can Windows Mobile handle J2ME? Anyway, it will run on any phone that can run J2ME which seems to be most GSM phones (expect, apparently, those that run Windows Mobile).

Re:Windows mobile? (3, Informative)

Stavr0 (35032) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776528)

Can Windows Mobile handle J2ME?
Not out of the box, but you can get a J2ME engine from IBM that supports several combinations of OS/Hardware: IBM WEME [ibm.com]

There's a few other JVMs for WM out there, i.e Mysaifu.

Re:Windows mobile? (3, Informative)

Valthan (977851) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776434)

http://google.com/gmm/devices.html [slashdot.org] >Here is a listing of the supported phone's make and model. Check it out.

Re:Windows mobile? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15776441)

"Sorry, Google Maps does not work on your Palm Treo-650."

That rules out Palm too.

On which platform does this actually run?

Re:Windows mobile? (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776617)

Pretty much any phone with J2ME.

Re:Windows mobile? (1)

jaysones (138378) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776736)

It works great on my Sony K750. I don't think Windows Mobile is so common that everything must comply with it.

Re:Windows mobile? (1)

3waygeek (58990) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776909)

I'm trying it right now on my Qtek 9100 (HTC Wizard) -- I clicked on the "high-end phone" link. It downloads the Google Maps Java applet, which appears to work on my phone.

Great, just great (4, Funny)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776305)

First we have evidence that cell users are as bad as drunk drivers [slashdot.org] yet now we want these same people to use their 2"X2" cell phone screen to look at a map of their location to see if there is a traffic jam ahead.


Wonderful.

Re:Great, just great (1)

andytrevino (943397) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776379)

That's a good point -- it seems like this would make a lot of sense integrated into the normal browser-based Google Maps app so that you can have a look at traffic and perhaps decide to change your route before leaving the house or office.

Wahhhh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15776385)

Would you like a wah-burger and french-cries with that?

Re:Great, just great (3, Insightful)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776391)

In NYC there are at least 2 AM stations that broadcast traffic reports every 10 minutes (880, 1010). My father's been listening to them since before I was born. This is far safer and probaby even easier than trying to bring it up on your cell. Plus they tell you what's going to be happening in the near future, like typical rush-hour traffic jams and construction.

There are other options, so stay off the cell.

Re:Great, just great (1)

Kingfox (149377) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776450)

I count three (1010 on the ones, 1130 on the fives, 880 on the eights). I had all three set up to quickly cycle through 'em just as one ended and the other started up until I got Sirius.

Re:Great, just great (3, Insightful)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776515)

And there you have it. You can already get this information via the radio in most metropolitan markets, so what's the point? Unless you're Speed Racer, real-time traffic updates aren't going to be of much use. And here's a little point to consider: where are they getting the traffic information from? Answer: the same sources that provide it to the radio and TV stations. Unless Google is going to build its own traffic sensing network (and don't put it past them), their data is only going to be as good as the last update you would get from the traffic reporting agencies anyway. Let's face it, when an accident happens, even with all the people who own mobile phones, how long does it take before it's reported to the traffic monitors? ANd even then, how many times have you heard reports of an accident that have long been over and traffic is flowing again, despite the traffic report saying that things are still backed up? Nope, this is just Google pushing the limits of what they should be doing to try and establish themselves in another niche market.

Re:Great, just great (1)

farker haiku (883529) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776674)

In NYC

And there you have it. You can already get this information via the radio in most metropolitan markets, so what's the point?

Just a quick FYI. NYC != most metropolitan markets. I live in a city with 2 million people and don't have this option. I for one welcome our new google traffic on cell phone overlords.

Also, when am I going to get this to interact with dodgeball [slashdot.org] , so I don't have to worry about losing my friends who are following me in the thick of battle^H^H^H^H^H^H^Htraffic

Completely insufficient. (1)

douglips (513461) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776928)

Maybe in New York this works, but here in the SF Bay Area it fails miserably. You can listen to the station that broadcasts traffic every 10 minutes, and since the Bay Area is so freaking huge, [i]they don't always announce all problems at all traffic breaks.[/i] So, you have to listen to the radio for 30 minutes to hear the announcement that the road you are on is slow, and oops, you're already in that traffic jam.

Radio and other passive communication methods completely fail - I need to be able to say "I'm on 17 in Campbell - what's traffic like?" and get an answer, not hope that some radio guy decided to get around to me sometime in the next 30 minutes.

Here is the real solution...
http://www.511.org/ [511.org]

Re:Great, just great (1)

Deviant Q (801293) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776782)

My friend's dad had a great theory on this. See, (at least where I live) the kind of stations that broadcast traffic reports broadcast such truly crappy radio that the amount of time you spend listening to crappy radio of your life will be much more than the amount of time you save the once-in-a-blue-moon that the traffic report actually helps.

My next statement must be taken with a grain of salt, since I'm a lame 18-year-old-without-a-license. That said, I can't see too much harm in checking traffic reports on one's cell phone while stuck in stop-and-go traffic. Looking down for 5 seconds at a time seems unlikely to cause accidents, no? Or you could just have a passenger do it, if you have that luxury.

Re:Great, just great (1)

Kumba (84067) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776792)

In the DC/Baltimore region, there's WTOP [wtopnews.com] on 103.5FM and 820AM for news traffic and weather (traffic is every 10mins on the 8's). Alternatively, if one must use a phone to check traffic status, several states have implemented the 511 phone number [dot.gov] for checking traffic (in Virginia, this is useful for checking screw ups on the western side of the DC beltway; Maryland has yet to implement this, although their CHART [state.md.us] system has an [autodetected] text-only mode for cell phone browsing).

What this feature would really be good for is on their main mapping service that could be checked before leaving to jump into some random traffic mess. Yahoo's maps beta system, while attempting to poorly mimic Google maps, has such a feature (and thus makes it somewhat of a useful service for the time being).

Re:Great, just great (1)

QuantumFTL (197300) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776703)

Alright, I'm really tired of this "cell phones as bad as being drunk." Does being on a cell phone distract you sometimes? Absolutely. Does it also help you stay awake on long drives? You bet. But what impact is it actually having on accidents?

I think most people would agree (and yes, I'm making presumptions based on my own experiences and those I know) that they are able to identify more individuals who are obviously driving while on a cell phone (via visual inspection) than individuals who are obviously impared by alcohol (from swerving or some such). I would make the educated guess that this means that there are more cell phone drivers out there than drunks. Now, considering how many accidents are alcohol related (I've heard around 50% but even 10% is enough to make my point), one would expect a very, very sharp rise in the number of accidents as cell phones became popular in the last few years.

Of course, nothing like this has happenned. If you do not believe me (and also as a good Karma whoring measure) check out US Bureau of Transportation Statistics Report [bts.gov] . I cannot extract any sudden rise from those numbers, or any significant average rise whatsoever (apart from the obvious increase corresponding to population increase in the last 15 years).

I'm pretty sure if cell phones were as bad as drunk driving, hundreds of thousands more people would be dead now, and they would be banned.

Re:Great, just great (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776903)

Good point.

The other problem I have with the "cellphones as bad as being drunk" claim is that if you look at the past 10 or 15 years, the number of cellphones has exploded; there ought to be a huge and obvious increase in the total number of auto accidents per year, roughly proportional to the adoption of cellphones. I've never seen anything that suggests this. In fact, the driving fatalities per million miles travelled has gone down over the past 10 years, as cellphone use has increased. While cars have gotten safer, I don't think the developments of safety technologies can be said to outweigh something as dangerous as a large percentage of drivers being "practically drunk," if that were the case.

While I'm sure that using a cellphone while driving can be distracting, and they're definitely a cause of accidents, I think their risk is being somewhat exaggerated: if they were as dangerous as people claim, then our roads would have to be far more dangerous than they are right now. While the number of fatal traffic accidents has gone up slightly since 1994, it's nowhere near the increase you'd expect if cellphones were as dangerous as some people are making them out to be. Either very few people are using them when driving (not likely -- anyone who's been outside recently can verify that a lot of people are), people are using them in place of some other already dangerous activity (using their cellphone instead of being drunk? Also not likely), or cellphones are not universally as dangerous as they're being made out to be.

I think there is a perception that cellphones are dangerous, because a lot of crappy drivers use their phones when they're driving. There is a correlation then between shitty driving and cellphone use, but it isn't necessarily causative as often as it might appear: the person who's dumb enough to run into you because they were dialing their phone might still have run into you, in the absence of a phone, because they would have found something else to do. The problem isn't the phone, it's the bad driver. The ultimate solution isn't to ban phones, it's to have tougher licensing requirements for drivers, and make it easier to take someone's license away if they're not up to the task. (My proposal is to require anyone who gets a moving violation to retake a drivers test. I think there are quite a few people on the road who probably couldn't pass if their lives depended on it; sadly, other people's lives do.)

See the statistics for yourself here:
http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/ [dot.gov]

Good Idea? (2, Funny)

wawannem (591061) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776315)

I think I may have recently read somewhere that cellphones may be responsible for more accidents than Drunk Driving. So, why would would we add an interactive app to cell phones, when that app may only be useful when you are driving?

Re:Good Idea? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15776818)

"I think I may have recently read somewhere ..." Yeah whatever dude, thanks for the authoritative info...

Palm no go (4, Informative)

bucketoftruth (583696) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776351)

Note: Maps does not currently work with Nextel, T-Mobile USA or BREW-enabled phones (e.g. Verizon, Alltel, U.S. Cellular), or Palm devices.
Doesn't work on my Treo 650. This is made for small cell phone people, who are different than us big cell phone people. I hope they choke on their tiny lozenge sized phones.

Re:Palm no go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15776463)

Small phones??? It works fine on Nokia 7700 according to the supported devices list, and Nokia 7700 is definitely not small.

The problem seems to be that Palm Treo doesn't support J2ME out of the box?

Re:Palm no go (1)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776489)

It works on my big 'ole Blackberry. As they say in technical circles, "nyah, nyah, nyah-nyah, nyah..."

Re:Palm no go (1)

znaps (470170) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776541)

Works with T-Mobile for me on my W810i.

Re:Palm no go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15776754)

It doesn't work on my tiny lozenge sized phone.

Re:Palm no go (1)

Erwos (553607) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776899)

My wife is in the same position - she's got the excellent Treo 650, yet Google Maps only runs on my (slow and exceedingly small-screened) LG PM-325.

It looks like one possible solution is Mobile GMaps [mgmaps.com] , which has the added advantage of also being able to use the Yahoo and Microsoft mapping services as well. Additionally, and this is very nice, it can use Bluetooth GPS or your phone's internal GPS system (if it has permissions and the right APIs - aka, if you're lucky).

-Erwos

Treo 650 (3, Interesting)

fdiskne1 (219834) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776352)

Here's what I see:

Google Maps

Sorry, Google Maps does not work on your Palm Treo-650.

I figured I'd use it before heading out on the road to find the best way to get somewhere, NOT while driving. That'd just be foolish.

Re:Treo 650 (2, Insightful)

tgeller (10260) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776968)

I just got that, too.

If it doesn't work on my device, for all practical purposes it doesn't exist. *shrug*

(Not to mention that the Treo 650 is UNBELIEVABLY COMMON these days....)

No Treo support? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15776367)

No Treo 650 support? What gives?

Why aren't smart phones supported since I imagine those with smart phones with data plans would make the most out of the service opposed to standard flip phones with generally no data plan as they're far too expensive when you're limited to a keypad for typing and a small res screen.

Dear Google, (-1, Flamebait)

jo42 (227475) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776396)

Dear Google,

This is a Truly Stupid(tm) idea.

Regards,
Drivers that pay attention to the road - not their feckin' cell phones.

Not real-time in nature (4, Funny)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776398)

I'm concerned about my privacy. Are your satellite images real-time?
We understand your privacy concerns and can assure you that the satellite images are taken from a variety of commercial and public resources and are not real-time in nature. The images that Google Maps displays are no different from what can be seen by anyone who flies over or drives by a specific geographic location.


Whew! For a minute there I thought I saw black helicopters in my rear-view mirror soon after I searched Google traffic to go get a loaf of bread.

Which US Providers? (1)

v783650 (948198) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776411)

Note: Maps does not currently work with Nextel, T-Mobile USA or BREW-enabled phones (e.g. Verizon, Alltel, U.S. Cellular), or Palm devices.
So what providers do work? The only ones I can think of are Cingular and Sprint.

Re:Which US Providers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15776492)

This works great for me. I have cingular with a nokia 6230. I think this is one of the best designed J2ME apps i have every seen.

Re:Which US Providers? (1)

jaysones (138378) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776753)

It seems to work flawlessly on T-Mobile. I just tried it on my K750i.

Re:Which US Providers? (1)

mbsatgt (948603) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776757)

It seems everyone is wondering why this doesn't support high-end phones. From the FAQ ( http://google.com/gmm/faq.html#5 [google.com] ):
"Which phones does Google Maps support?
Google Maps works with most Java-enabled (J2ME) mobile phones offered by Cingular and Sprint, and all color BlackBerry devices regardless of carrier. At this time, Google Maps doesn't work with Nextel, T-Mobile USA or BREW-enabled phones (e.g. Verizon, Alltel, U.S. Cellular), or Palm devices. To see whether the application will work on your phone, simply visit http://www.google.com/gmm/devices.html [google.com] ."

Re:Which US Providers? (1)

alaederach (876208) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776793)

I tried it on T-mobile, and as advertised, it does not work. Does anyone know if this is the fault of Google or the fault of the carrier. My understanding is that carriers are trying to maintain control over their networks so they can serve you the information they want, is that correct?

Works for me... (2, Interesting)

jense (978975) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776457)

i'm on sprint, and this works like a charm. the cell-while-you-drive concern is legit, but no more dangerous than any GPS system, IMHO. personally, i'm going to use it when i pull into that gas station and purposefully DON'T ask for directions. because now i don't have to. the ultimate justifier! my wife has no leg to stand on anymore.

Re:Works for me... (1)

phonewebcam (446772) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776526)

Huh? You're gonna pull into a gas station to use your mobile...!!!

Re:Works for me... (1)

collectivescott (885118) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777059)

Lol, like there's a real risk of fire/explosion in that. Maybe an analog phone once caused a fire. I'm not losing any sleep over it.

You luddites need to get a grip.

"accident" not "incident" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15776483)

or "sigalert"

CRASH! (5, Funny)

stormi (837687) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776531)

Wait... is that my car? Hey look! I can see myself crashing!

Sorry.

pizza? (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776545)

What's with google and having pizza in all their mapping services... ... I say this while eating a slice of pizza at IBM ... :-)

tom

Data Rates and the need for true Wireless internet (1)

TheRequiem13 (978749) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776554)

On top of the general bad-idea-to-further-distract-people thing, current cell data rates make this completely unreasonable to use.
The Tour on the site shows that every zoom/map move is a 10 to 100KB image download. My carrier, Rogers Canada, charges for data transfer on the net like this at 5 cents/KB (or, if I commit to a "plan" it would only be $7 for the first MB then 2 cents/KB after that. hooray.). This means I could end up paying over $1 every time I move or zoom on the map. While this is more my Carrier's fault than Google's, it has the same end result of preventing me from actively using the service.

Just another reason we need proper wireless internet providers.

the interactive demo... (1)

Groghunter (932096) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776556)

Doesn't work, So i guess google forgot to pay their bill. Seriously, it's a fake java cell phone that says that you don't have service. It's just like real life!

Come on (4, Insightful)

Kohath (38547) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776580)

- Offer this on the web.
- Get the destination from my Google Calendar
- Calculate the time of travel to my destination. Factor in traffic and construction.
- Tell me when I need to leave in order to arrive on time
- Tell me alternate routes to take based on which one is fastest right now
- Message me on my phone when it's time to leave.

You have all the information. Put it together into something helpful.

Re:Come on (1)

The Cisco Kid (31490) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776653)

Yes, why limit anything to cell-phones only? Any web-like service that might make sense on phones surely could be made available on a normal browser (and not incur per-minute cell-data fees either, even if you just want to try it out).

In fact, if they made it available to try out on normal browsers first, that might get more people interested in it on their cell phones.

Anyway, in the meantime, anyone aware of a cell-phone-browser-emulator for firefox?

Re:Come on (1)

anandsr (148302) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776777)

Well you forgot the last step.

- profit

Re:Come on (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776994)

- profit

- Advertisements for restuarants to stop for lunch on the way back.

Damn phone companies (0, Troll)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776591)

Too bad those damn evil phone companies won't allow this service.

Data plan required (1)

Palal (836081) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776654)

Data plan is required - I'm not paying the rip-off fees for that. If I want to check traffic conditions and speed maps I simply go on http://www.511.org/ [511.org] (In the SF Bay Area) and check the maps before I leave work. If I'm really desperate and none of the local radio stations are of any help, I just call 511 and get the same info as on the website.

Re:Data plan required (1)

Cheeze (12756) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776719)

Let me be the first to say:

DUH!

Why would you think there wouldn't be a data plan required? You are going to be downloading data, from google.com.

Requires Java :( (1)

Utopia (149375) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776658)

I had too many slowness problems using java on my phone that I had uninstall it.
A simple html based page would have been much better.

Will wait and see what Windows Live Local and Yahoo Maps will cookup. Maybe they will have a more workable product.

Re:Requires Java :( (1)

kevin_conaway (585204) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776889)

A simple html based page would have been much better.

Is that so? And how would you expect them to accomplish this with "simple html"?

Google's Beef with The Treo 650? (2, Insightful)

Monkelectric (546685) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776665)

Can anyone tell me why *NONE* of the google apps work with the Palm Treo?

Old news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15776746)

MSFT has been doing this for a while in the Seattle area. It has come out of their R&D lab. It's very useful.

Google innovates again ! (1)

chrisranjana.com (630682) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776758)

Would google's team ever stop ! No ..It is this innovation that keeps google growing and other companies on their toes !

Great... (1)

butterwise (862336) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776765)

Just another reason for you idiots who drive and talk at the same time to whip it out. And by "it" I mean your cell phone.

Blackberry use (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776835)

Being a BES admin I'm always looking for this kind of thing. I already recommended my users to download this when it was still in beta and they ate it up. I'll have to see if it updated for them or if they'd have to reinstall to get the traffic. As for the new functionality, it seems a bit useless right now, I'll look again at 5 when traffic starts to build to see if there's any real benefit to my users or not.

to the Hammer maker, everything looks like a nail (1)

pinkuff (878101) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776855)

PLUS, in many countries (and should be everywhere) using a phone while driving is just ILLEGAL.

Why, oh why, Google?

It is just that you people never leave the 'Plex and therefore have no idea what happens on the road with dorks yakking on the phone and crashing into the guy ahead of them?

Or is it plain ol' Slashdot Front Page Whoring? Suspect the latter [pleon.it]

Which Cities ??? (1)

altek (119814) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776875)

Google refuses to list the areas where this is available. In their Help page, it says to find out where its available, go to that location and tell it to 'Show Traffic Info', and it will tell if you if it's not available...

How helpful! Especially since their dang fake cell phone demo that they make you go to doesn't even seem to work correctly, so I cant even tell.

Anyone have a list of cities where this is available?

Blackberry Support (1)

ffejie (779512) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776936)

For all of you complaining, it works great on my Blackberry 7130e with EVDO. I'm a long time user of Google Local (this is just the upgrade) on the device, and this adds some much needed features like:

*Favorites -- now I don't have to type my home address in everytime I want to map from my house to somewhere else
*Details about locations - how long is that place open? (only works with some places, none of which I can find yet)
*Live traffic -- we'll see how well it actually works. Keep in mind, I know the interstate is jammed between here and there at rush hour. There's generally no way around it. Simply providing traffic info for the big interstates doesn't really help me out. But, it is a step in the right direction. Hopefully soon, we'll allow the devices to make intelligent decisions based on traffic patterns.

Screenshots on a 9500 (2, Interesting)

Penguin (4919) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776950)

Just for the sake of curiousity (and karma whoring) I took a couple of screenshots [ter.gld.dk] on my Nokia 9500.

No workie (1)

Necron69 (35644) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776977)

"Sorry, Google Maps does not work on your LG C1300"

Feh. I need a real phone.

- Necron69

Neat, but SLOW (1)

SpiceWare (3438) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776991)

I'll stick with my arrangment [spiceware.org] of the Mobile Houston Real-Time Traffic Map [houstontranstar.org] that I made for my RAZR because the original layout requires you to scroll up/down to view the map on the RAZR's small display.

For some reason my RAZR needed a WML page loaded before the HTML page. I also made arrangements for the close-ups of the different areas. All of which can be found
here [spiceware.org]

very useful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15777021)

I have a little page on my server that summarizes the washington state dot maps so they are sized for my phone. I literally use it every time I get in the car to decide which freeway to take.

Not sure if I am going to use googles now instead, but anyone who balks at this is a person who hasn't used it. I get an average of 10 minutes a day time savings with a simple 20 seconds on my treo.

map scanning is the best thing about web phones... I do doppler radar, the ISS tracker, traffic. etc.

It's pretty cool to be at a barbecue and tell the host... "my weather radar says it's going to start raining" and sure enough everyone has to go inside... of course... I wonder how many people have walked into a store asking about the treo 650 weather radar and how they can get it!

Spoof from a computer? (1)

kwerle (39371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777068)

How do I spoof the system so I can get this information from my computer before I leave the office?
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