I still remember nine years ago, when my husband scanned a paper map. He measured each point-to-point-distance manually, made algorithms to develop an application: Bandung City Guide, a basic offline map and navigation app. That was his final BS paper. I was only able to say then, “Cool…”, as i was used to be an old-fashioned person who is relying on paper map and index to get location 😀
Since then we have experienced many ways of traveling. Some are increasing our heartbeat (for not saying goosebump hehehe), so don’t try this at home, eh, i mean on the road lol..
During his first days moving to Jakarta, my husband installed Jakarta Map on his laptop. It was only map with search and index feature, no navigation. Yet it helped him to know Jakarta better. It helped my Jakarta paper map to retire as well lol. It was just a little bit funny when we tried to reach some unfamiliar location. When we went for his work interview, for example. He had to stop riding his bike, parked on the roadside to open the laptop. We would define our location, eh, predict in actual, because nothing on the map could show us where we were. After trying to create route to the destination, we would continue the journey. Ouch*#!? Okay, for you who said, “isn’t paper map the same or even better?” at least we only need to see an 11 inch screen and not a-shoulder-wide-paper and able to zoom it as we like without putting it close to our nose 😀
It was even funnier then when we went out of Jakarta. We traveled along Java island -from west to east for a best friend’s wedding (it means a thousand kms!) with only printout of Java Island map and some fragments of detailed smaller area. And yeah, it was my bad, i forgot to check our printer ink level so it was blurry in particular spot. We had to guess where we were and where to go. And the bad news was… It was exactly at the point when we were out of nowhere, not on main national nor province route. We were on shortcut route connecting 2 districts (Salatiga-Sragen, skipping Solo), to save 70 kms or so, around 9pm (it was quiet like midnight in rural area like that, again: ouch!!!). Thank God, eventhough it was not “Who Wants to Be A Millionaire” TV quiz, ‘phone a friend’ option saved us. A coworker of my husband whose hometown is where we were at that time guided us by phone. Phew… It was not the fault of some blog authors who suggested that shortcut route, it was definitely ours lol… (Note: actually we had known google map. The problem was that we didnt have mobile with good enough data connection nor wide enough screen… So just imagine it by yourself)
Then hubby got a better mobile: with GPS integrated!! (Yippeeee…) It saved us to pass by a mountain shortcut between Temanggung-Dieng (Wonosobo) district, through mount Sindoro hillside, a small rocky road that might be only locals know. 1500 meters asl, and that was where we finally found a blank spot area of any cellular operator on Java island!! (Note: Java island is an island of Indonesia, the world’s most populous island and one of the most densely populated places on the globe. Seven percent of total area of Indonesia but is home of 60 percent of the Indonesian population. It is amazing to know that there is still a blank spot area of any cellular signal here…)
Google map and GPS were really helpful for our mudik* trip and when we went abroad. For some years we could always choose better route for mudik. We were dare enough to choose unusual n quiet route like Daendels route to avoid complete standstill on main route. We often save 2 hours or more. Google navigation -the later improvement, was also cool. What we watched couple years before in Too Fast Too Furious: a very talkative girl telling us when to make a turn, keep left, and rerouting for us voluntarily, was in our car then 😀 But it was still without calculating the road burden. How could we know which road to avoid due to heavy traffic or complete standstill then? Thanks to twitter user who updated traffic situation during mudik season via Traffic Management Center Polri, lewatmana.com, etc.
Then finally we knew Waze, an Android application. As a user generated content, user’s update about traffic situation automatically calculated to create better navigation. Choosing a route and avoiding traffic or accident are easier now. Make sure you recharge your device during the trip as it consumes battery a lot. And put your device on a mobile stand or near aircon, unless it will be overheated. After Google’s Waze acquisition, we can see the feature has been integrated in newest Google Maps then. The mobile versions of Google Maps now blend in traffic data from Waze, while Waze users gain Google Street View and satellite images.
Yeah, that was our nine years awesome ways of traveling. Thanks to internet, mobile and gadget technology improvement, and satellite imaging that have made our journey awesome. Getting image from scanned paper map to a map developed by satellite imaging. Navigated by many reliable source: from other travelers who are kindly update their blog, a phone-a-friend option, to twitter real-time traffic update, and then smart navigator that can calculate the traffic is now talkatively navigating our trip. What may be the improvement next?