This starter kit is an introduction to how digital mapping technology can support you to get from place to place and provide you with up-to-date information on what facilities an area has. It does not go into detail about how to use the technology, but is primarily designed to point you towards the affordable tools that you can use from day to day and give you a better idea of how these might fit into your life.
Follow on kits will provide more instruction on how to get up and running with this technology, as well as ideas on activities to take your enjoyment further.
What we suggest here is just that, a suggestion. There are many other apps and services that you may choose to use, so don’t be put off if you don’t find something that suits you. In fact, let us know and we can look at adding it to future versions of the kit.
The following are pre-requisites if you want to try out some of the ideas in the Digital Starter Kit.
An internet connection: Most apps and services require that you are connected to the internet.
A device to use the apps and services: This can be a smartphone, tablet or computer. Smartphones and tablets offer the most flexibility.
Why use digital maps?
At their most basic, digital mapping services or apps can give you directions to your destination, whether you are walking, driving or taking public transport information.
But beyond this, a mapping app is constantly updated to show traffic problems and delays, while a service such as Google Maps has details on almost all local facilities, shops, places to eat and stay. This can come in handy when visiting somewhere for the first time or simply looking to check opening hours for a favourite café.
Getting started with these services
- Unlike in most of our starter kits where there are a few apps we highlight, there is only one mapping app that is currently worth considering for its all-round capabilities and that is Google Maps.
- Google Maps is tightly integrated with Gmail and Google's other consumer services. This means that if you have a Gmail account you have a Google Maps account. Should you try and sign up for an account before you have an email account, you will be asked to create an email account as part of the process.
- You can use Google Maps without an account, but you will be unable to save locations and won't have access to some key features.
- To get the most out of Google Maps, you should download the corresponding app for your device. Google Maps is available on Android phones and tablets, as well as iPhones, iPads and computers using a standard web browser.
- Google Maps will require access to your device's GPS location in order to function properly. If you give Google Maps access to this location, it is only shared with the Google Maps service and is not made public.
This is just a taster of getting started with mapping apps. We are in the process of compiling follow-on guides for using individual services which will take you through set-up and use step-by-step.