I am a map geek. And I am a traffic geek. Back when I was doing my 45-mile (one way!) commute in the Bay Area, I would always check the Web obessively prior to leaving, listen to traffic reports while driving, even call the special TravInfo phone number. None of that was really effective, at least partially because there was no way to get an on-the-fly visual overview of what was going on once I actually hit the road. Not on my budget.
Until now, that is.
Google has just given us real-time traffic conditions for the cell phone. It’s a brand-new addition to their already existing mobile Google Maps app.
Awesome! It was swift to download and and install, and pretty intuitive to boot. I haven’t explored all of the features for this version of Google Maps, but I will as I need them. And since I already had a web-enabled cell phone, it’s not going to cost me any more, but the potential upside is limitless.
At least for me it is. You might just find it as silly as I find .mp3z for the cell phone. And it struck me that this is how mobile convergence is going to work: one application or service at a time for each individual. Which, of course, is why content providers are mobilizing tons of resources (and dollars) to mobilize tons of content, info and services. Who knows exactly what will catch the public’s fickle fancy?
There may not be one single cross-the-board killer app, but rather a series of niche apps, each of which make at least part of the population very very happy.
And now, if Google could just invent something to get rid of all of the traffic . . .