There’s an interview with comedian Louis C.K. that really resonates with me about a lot of tech stuff. It’s called “Everything is Amazing and Nobody is Happy.” Take a moment, if you haven’t already, to enjoy watching (please note, it’s not suitable for children).
This interview makes me think about a lot of incredibly amazing tech stuff that gets taken for granted, but specifically, location based apps.
Here are 3 location-based pieces of tech wizardry I am grateful for:
GPS & Maps
In Switzerland, they happen drive on the other side of the road to each of the four countries I have lived in previously. Driving on the other side of the road feels like you are constantly making mistakes that may have dire consequences for you or the people you happen to be sharing the road with. In short, it’s terrifying. But with the GPS turned on, at least I don’t have to worry about knowing where I am supposed to be driving, and I can concentrate on important things, like not screaming out loud when a car comes the opposite direction on a narrow Swiss road.
True story: my kids gave me a round of applause when I first drove home. I think I’ll keep them.
Apple maps, Google maps, they’re both amazing! Take some time to appreciate the wonder that is location-based navigation! I do every day in this new country of ours.
There are a lot of reasons to love the Swiss – chocolate and Roger Federer are but two of many – however, one has to appreciate their commitment to recycling. Recycling is expected, rather than encouraged, and I think that’s just great. Except for when I don’t know where to find the nearest recycling centre. Enter the Recycling Map. Simply type in your postcode, and what it is exactly that you want to recycle, and voila! The nearest locations are pointed out to you on the wonder that is Maps. Genius.
FourSquare & Swarm
Looking on FourSquare (also available as an app) has become one of the first things I do in a new location. It provides information on places to eat (very important to me!), nightlife (somewhat less important) and things to do (yes, yes!).
Users leave tips and ratings on each location they visit through partner app Swarm. FourSquare uses this information to recommend locations nearby, complete with distance, address and contact details, opening hours, and a rating out of 10. This is alongside the tips from reviewers.
FourSquare has been responsible for some of my most memorable meals on holiday. Peskesi in Heraklion and Gelato at Cioccolat Italiani are two recent examples of places that would have gone undiscovered, had it not been for FourSquare.
I encourage you to start contributing to the pool of knowledge on FourSquare, by leaving tips about your favourite places on Swarm. That way, we all benefit!
“Trip planning.” flickr photo by Shawn Harquail https://flickr.com/photos/harquail/15866878743 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) license