Get local traffic on your phone with Google Maps

Google Maps is an excellent online service that is also available for many smartphones. They just added support for local traffic updates that may help with your daily commute planning.

My buddy Reggie from Micro PC Talk was Google Talking with me yesterday afternoon and asked if I had installed the latest version of Google Maps on my Nokia E61. I had installed an earlier version and after visiting the site I saw that real-time traffic conditions was a major added feature. I quickly installed the new version on my E61 and saw that the Seattle/Tacoma area is one of the 30 major metropolitan areas where traffic status is provided at this time. I commute over one hour each way from my home to my office in Seattle so I plan to use this new feature quite a bit for route planning in the vanpool.



Google Maps on mobile devices has actually helped me in real-life situations two times in the last couple of months when I was in an unfamiliar area and was lost. I had no other mapping solution with me at the time, except for my mobile phone and I used Google Maps to successful get to my destination. Google Maps allows you to get directions, view maps (including satellite imagery), and search for local businesses. It works great on my S60 2nd and 3rd Edition devices and the map loading is quite fast. You should have an unlimited data plan when using this service though since the maps can quickly consume large amounts of data. GPS support is not provided with Google Maps, but hopefully that integration will come in the future.