I was thinking today 'how life would have been with out google maps?'
Google maps was one of the coolest things this decade has presented us, you can't imagine how it made the life easier for people who are abroad - India is getting there - This weekend I am planning a trip to wales, Which is on the east coast of UK. I was asked to make a plan for 3 days, with 3 people coming from 3 different places at 3 different times. It would be an easy task if the rendezvous was a place where at least one of them have ever been to. Unfortunately all 3 of us have been to UK first time and going to wales first time and I am the only person who can drive. How would it have gone with out google maps. I have no clue, I am not even bothered to think how it would have been, because google maps is something I take for granted. Even with a GPS - which existed before google maps - people can only navigate to a place, you can never plan a trip with it. Again with regular maps, you can only speculate the distance - unless you have a ruler, which at least gives you a point to point distance.
In my case I needed 4 points to consider a meeting point accessible for 3 groups, with the cheapest train ticket possible, with a car rental rates moderate and nearer to the place of stay. This was only one of the things which needed attention. For this I had to find the driving distance, train travel time and the rates to consider. Which wouldn't have been possible if google maps was not there.
Second thing was to identify an region in which we have to stay which is nearer to the rendezvous point - which is as well as the point from where we are going to depart at the end of trip - again as the wales is a hilly terrain, distance will not give us how much time it would take to reach there. Again google maps. So after making 5 calls to different bed and break fast stays - which is similar to home stay in Kerala - I found a place to stay.
Third which I had to do it in parallel with all the above things was to identify the hour by hour plans on when to get up, where to go, how much time we have there, when to get back to bed. Even before I narrowed down the place of stay I have found out 3 places which is around 3 hours travel time from anywhere in the area I was looking accommodation for.
Fourth is again narrowing down on the places which we should not miss, how can I be sure about that, only with the google earth and google street view. With which I could find severel palaces where we could have breathtaking view of wales (touch wood) How much a website or travel information can provide to a person who is driving up to all places first time. Its not like going to see Taj Mahal, which is up there and you can go there and see it. As far as a trip to wales and Snowdonia national park is considered there is no well defined point a person can go and see. This is where you need to see photos posted by other travellers and find out where exactly it is and finding out how I can reach there.
Now we have a plan well laid, unless the speculated rain spoils our whole trip its going to be beautiful. Thanks to Google Maps. Also thanks to my friends who didn't interfere much with my plan so far. :) Imagine I had to handle 5 people who has different opinions on everything. Opinions never hurt but that doesn't help much as well. At least once in life you make a plan for your friends and find out how it goes. I am not talking about a movie plan here. Some thing more than that. Only then you understand how difficult it is as well as how easy it is to stay back and enjoy the trip when some one has made the plan for you. Isn't the life is about finding out that plan which god hasn't revealed to you yet?