Google Maps

I know there’s a way to do these things. I just don’t feel like spending more than the 40 minutes I’ve already spent trying to figure it out. So I leave it and I suffer a little (suffer == don’t use tech the way I’d like to).  Here are the tools I have :

  1. desktop computer connected to the internet
  2. a list of the stores I want to go to
  3. an android phone
  4. a garmen GPS built into my car

The problem I’m facing is simple:

  1. I don’t know where the stores are (there may be more than one in my area) .
  2. I want to visit them as efficiently as possible.
  3. I don’t want to write anything down.

Solution attempt:

My plan involves google maps since I have a phone with google living on it and in general I assume that google has this problem already figured out. I first logged on to my desktop and fired up google maps. I thought that they should have (which means they probably do have) a feature where I can just type in the stores/locations and it would a) find them and b) plot out a course to them from my home. I could not find such a feature. So I started by searching for my first store “Babies R Us”. I found one in Depford. I then looked for my second store “Home Depot” and it found one near Depford since I guess I had the map focused on the Babies R Us. But it lost the BRU waypoint/pin. Hmn.. problem here. Eventually I learned that you could save these pins to a custom “my map” (which by the way is public by default.. dumb). Finally I had all my points plotted . Feel free to check it out since I haven’t bothered to figure out how to make it private. So far, not bad. Not exactly the path I wanted to take to this point (I wanted gmaps to figure this all out for me) but I’m here.

Now the easy part (I would assume, and be proven wrong) is to just connect the pins and then print out a list of directions. Nope. You can’t do it. I tried all kinds of things like plotting a route to one and then ‘adding’ destinations, etc.  Finally I gave up and figured I’d just d/l these waypoints to my phone somehow and then use the excellent google turn by turn on the android to solve the problem. Nah. Can’t do that either. I could, however, email a link (the one above) to my phone and when I clicked on it I was able to import it to my phone google maps, so that’s a start but it’s not what I want exactly.

Anyway, I have to go shop and participate in the great global economy now. No more time to write. Any solutions?

Philadelphia Parking Signs

If you live or work in the city, you can’t help but notice that they are changing all the signage for parking as well as removing the parking meters for the kiosk system. Both suck but I’m going to focus on the signs for a moment.

Are you fucking kidding me? The old signs were hard to understand and read and I can see having to replace them to deal with the new kiosks, but let me take a second to state the obvious: when you redesign something, generally you try to make it better, not worse.

Picture yourself driving down the street in city traffic and encountering one of these signs as you determine if you can legally park. (I’ve helpfully included some photos from the drivers perspective as an example of what I’m talking about). Let me tell you that my eyesight may not be perfect, but these signs are hardly readable. They remind me of powerpoint slides made up by corporate suits that have so much text on them that you can’t read them from the first row of the meeting.

Assuming you can actually read the signs, they make little or no sense. First you need to determine where you are (red or green side?), then you need to decipher what time and day it is and see if it fits into the listed moments when you are allowed to park. Then you have to read all the rest of the sign and see if any other rules apply to you. Seriously?

I can only wonder how much money we spent on all these signs. They should be replaced since they will subtlety discourage tourism and lower overall goodwill towards the city. But of course they won’t be. Why could we not have hired someone to properly design these signs (which clearly were layed out by some low level secretary in the streets department). It’s not like we need Edward R. Tufte, but perhaps maybe someone who knows his name may have done a better job.

So sad. So sad.