The map’s zoom-in, nine scales. A mediocre performance, not an impressive affair anyway. The most useful function for PSP model could be the pedestrian navigation and its route searching. While you are on foot, or on two wheels (bicycle; not recommended to motorcyclists for obvious reasons), you can search your shortest route through obscure back alleys and holes in the fence, at least, within the radius of 10Km.
So, you need a PSP, a GPS add-on, and some software from Zenrin, but it’s possible!
All in all, it sounds like the Sony PSP solution might be a bit rough around the edges, but I like anything that moves us towards more ubiquitous access to bicycle directions.
And in perusing the web, I cycled across a cool blog called NaviGadget, which might be interesting to you GPS heads out there. I’m not a GPS head, myself, but I do love the iPhone – though, I’m gonna hold out for version 2 of the iPhone – hopefully in a couple of months. I’m actually curious to find out more about existing GPS devices that already provide bicycle directions – I need to do some reading.
For my future cell phone, I might also go with an Android-enabled phone if/when it hits the market. Android is basically an operating system for mobile devices/phones (wiki) – it is being developed by a group of 30 or so companies – and one of those companies is Google. The Android operating system is fully GPS-capable – the only question is whether device manufacturers will create handsets with built-in GPS capability or not. Let’s hope so.
There are lots of things going down in the mapping/GPS/directions/web arena right now, and it looks like things might really start popping in the summer (when the new iPhone is rumored to be released) – just a couple of short months away.
Speaking of GPS, I’m reminded of a cool Austin company I found out about recently – BarZ Adventures. They make these cool, little GPS-enabled tour-guide devices. Check out a YouTube video here. I like tools like this because they seem like they might be able to help excite people about walking. As cyclists, we all know how cool it is to be able to appreciate our surroundings. Hopping in the car is sometimes easier, but we roll down our windows so we can taste the air – like we would if we were on our bikes. Well, tools like BarZ’s GPS Ranger (and any GPS-enabled device) seem to me like they could have this effect of helping people (like me) to appreciate our immediate surroundings a bit more – and if we don’t like what we see, we might even get motivated to do something about it. I’m starting to believe that we all should be at least knowledgeable, if not experts in, the theory and practice of good urban design. We’ve left it to ‘the powers that be’ for too long, and now we have (sub)urban sprawl that is killing us. I’m not against suburbs or cities – I’m against poorly-designed suburbs and poorly-designed cities. More on this in a future post.