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October 13, 2006

google Mobile Maps - its so "kool"!

Posted by Sanford Dickert | Discussion: 0 Comments

Since the last post on Rights Group, I have had a slew of requests to talk about new mobile services. But, the one I want to mention today is one I accidentially discovered on my way to an event this weekend. In the car, I was sitting in the car with three tech guys (one who invented the handwriting recognition software and the founder of MeshForum) and we were trying to find our way. google Mobile MapsSuddenly, I am shown a high-end smartphone running google Mobile Maps. It has been a while since I was impressed with a simple app, and within five minutes, I had it running the same app on my treo 650.

Why am I so excited? Simply because this is another app from google that just works. Not only do I get to avoid spending another $800 on a tomtom 910 (which I loved, nonetheless), but all of the things you expect in the google Maps are easily available - with traffic and identification of locations in clear, simple view.

Think about the power in the hands of your staff
In 2004, there were scores of 527 staffers and volunteers walking around with Palm Pilots doing canvasses of potential voters. Most of the time, the canvass was based on physical paper, reading from a script and having a neighborhood map for general instructions. With the new google Mobile Maps software, comined with a simple form structure, I can get all of the information I need on my treo 650, and have it all entered into my database in one fell swoop.

Think about the possibilities:GMM Demo

  • Traffic conditions
    On thing that drove me crazy in South Florida was knowing the traffic conditions from point A to B. Now, with the GMM, I can have a sense of the traffic movement showing on the screen in simple, easy to read, colors.
  • Directions
    The other major need for me - especially when in a district or location I do not know. The nicest thing I found out is how the treo version of the application pages through the steps of the directions, just like watching a GPS system on the front of my car.
  • Integration
    This is one aspect I am hoping on more than expecting. Meeting with a googler recently, he suggested looking at how google Earth uses KML overlays (this is for the technical at heart) to handle the mapping functionality. But it is my hope and expectation that using GMM with additional functionality (for example, having walk lists stored on google Spreadsheet that is updated via the mobile treo interface) will make the collection of data and the directon of canvassers much more efficient.

What do you think?
Aside from the "kool" factor, how do you see GMM working for campaigns? I am only reaching the tip of the iceberg with this idea - my assumption is that, by placing GMM on the platform, we are potentially giving google a footprint to extend other services on to the treo, which could then include schedules, searches on news events, etcera. Given the power of google in your hand, how much quicker could a candidate discover the meaning of "macaca"?

UPDATE: Just on mytreo.net, and found this opinion which extolls the virtues of the app as well.
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