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James Wiegel

Maps on Your Cell Phone without GPS

James Wiegel, CUGG

November 2006

Yes, the CrackBerry (read "BlackBerry") generation is upon us. Cell-phones stopped being JUST phones quite some time ago. Recent years have brought us consumer models (with games, music, and cameras), and business models (PDA and text based communications). These devices are now entrenched in our everyday lives; it is rare to find someone who doesn't carry one.

Over the last few years I've become increasingly dependant on my cell-phone. It's my ONLY phone! Many people are like me in that respect. It's rare that I ever call someone's home phone these days, assuming that the even have one!

I've had a cell-phone for 10 years now. I've never been concerned about getting one with a thousand bells and whistles that I'll never really use. I've just wanted something rugged enough that it wouldn't break if I looked at it funny. For me it's a tool, not a toy.

A Recent job compelled me to get a new tool. I spent a lot of time out in the field, away from a computer. My schedule was constantly changing, there were dozens of contacts to keep up with, and I can't find my way out of a wet paper sack without a map! With all of these needs combined I felt compelled to step into the 21st century.

I researched phones for several days, specifically for GPS technology... funny thing is that t-mobile doesn't really USE it, but I still needed to keep my life organized, and know that my phone and PC would be able to synchronize the contacts etc. I finally narrowed my selection down to a hand full of phones, including the blackberry 7105t that I finally selected.

When I discovered that Google has a free application for phones (like the blackberry), I was overjoyed! The application leverages the power of with real-time traffic conditions (for inner-city interstate roads), and turn by turn directions.

Visit for more info.

Surprisingly, the very same device that I had avoided because it would keep me in constant contact with my work life, has also freed me up to go anywhere with little fear of being lost, or unable to find services that I would need. Even though I don't NEED the email and internet features of my phone now, I have grown quite fond of them. Are Google maps worth $20 per month for the internet access plan? Hmm... So far it is.


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