One Simple Voice Command to Launch GPS
Navigator on Smartphones
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Precaution: Smartphone based GPS navigation may NOT work in remote rural areas unless the map is
preloaded into the smartphone.

Many beautiful and famous national parks, national monuments and national wildlife refuges in North America
are in remote rural areas where there is no mobile wireless service coverage such that smartphones have no
wireless Internet connectivity and will NOT work, and hence, the smartphone based GPS navigator will NOT
work in such remote rural areas.

However, Google Maps based GPS navigator on smartphones will work in such remote rural areas if the
Google Map for such remote rural area of interest is preloaded into the smartphone while at home or in a
hotel where Wi-Fi service is available for such download of Google Map.

The procedure to preload Google Map into a smartphone is described in Section 10 in the following.

In other words, with preloaded Google Map in the smartphone, the Google Maps based GPS navigator on a
smartphone will work even through many other functions of smartphone do not work in such remote rural
areas.

Therefore, it is very important to preload the Google Map, for a particular area of interest to you, into your
smartphone if you plan to drive into an unfamiliar remote rural area. Otherwise, the failure of the smartphone
based GPS navigator in such remote rural area may get the user stranded in the unfamiliar remote rural area,
especially if it is in a desert, resulting in a life-threatening dangerous situation.


Abstract

This web page describes the simple one voice command to launch the free GPS navigator on Google Maps in
smartphone to guide your driving to your destination. The great advantages of such smarter and free GPS
navigator in Google Maps in smartphones over the traditional stand alone GPS navigators are also described.

The Android based smartphones come with free built-in Google Maps and its associated free GPS navigator  
for users. The Google Maps GPS Navigator in a smartphone is free, very smart and easy to use in many
different ways.

On an Android based smartphone, one simple voice command is sufficient to launch the GPS navigator
automatically to guide your driving to your destination.

The key reason that Google Maps GPS navigator in a smartphone is so simple and easy to use is that the
smartphone is communicating with and is supported by a powerful mainframe computer with huge database in
the server through high speed wireless Internet connection. Such high speed wireless Internet connection and
the intelligence in the powerful supporting mainframe computer in the server enable the smartphone to shift all
the heavy and tedious work load from the user to the mainframe computer to make it as simple as possible for
user.

In this simple method, I do not have to spend time and effort to find out the detailed and the precise street
address of the destination and to type such detailed address of the destination into the smartphone. I only
have to say the names of the destination (e.g., hotel), town and state. That is enough for the supporting
mainframe computer to do all the necessary work to find out the detailed and precise street address of the
destination and to use it to start the GPS navigation automatically.

The excellent voice recognition technology and Google Assistant App in the Android based smartphone are
also great help to make the Voice Command so simple and easy to use.

Other methods to use, additional benefits of and more features of Google Maps GPS navigator are also
described.

My friend, Daniel Wang, an iPhone user, told me that Google Maps and its associated GPS Navigator are
also available on iPhones.


1. Simple and Easy Way to Use Google Maps GPS Navigator in Smartphones by one Voice Command

1.1. Simple and Easy Way

The Android based smartphones come with free built-in Google Maps and its associated free GPS navigator  
for the users. The Google Maps GPS Navigator in a smartphone is free, very smart and easy to use in many
different ways. This section 1.1 describes a simple, easy and fast way to use Google Maps GPS navigator by
using one Voice Command.

On an Android based smartphone, a simple voice command is sufficient to launch the GPS navigator
automatically to guide your driving to your destination by the following simple steps:

1.1.A: In case if my smartphone is not turned on yet, I turn on my Android based smartphone first.

1.1.B: I say "O.K. Google" which is a Google/Android specific voice command to get the attention of the
Android based smartphone. Then the Icon of Google Assistance show up which means that the smartphone is
ready to listen to and to take action on my next Voice Command.

1.1.C: I just say:

"Navigate to Holiday Inn in Hazlet, New Jersey"

Then the smartphone will do all the necessary internal steps (Steps B, C, D, E, F and G described in Section
2 below) automatically and in seconds, the screen shows the Google Map with the navigation route from my
current location to Holiday Inn Hotel in Hazlet. At this point, the smartphone will say and confirm:

All Right, Holiday Inn. Let's Go!

Such announcement means that the Google Maps GPS navigator is ready to start GPS navigation with voice
instruction and the associated navigation map to guide the user/driver to the destination. At this point, the GPS
navigator will say the first navigation voice instruction such as "Go south on Main Street for one mile."

It is so simple, easy and fast to use Google Maps GPS navigator as compared to the lengthy and tedious
steps required in using the traditional stand alone GPS navigator.

In Step 1.1.B, instead of saying O.K. Google, as an alternative method, I can  press the "Home" button at the
lower middle of my smartphone "Samsung Galaxy S5", then the Icon of Google Assistance shows up which
means that the smartphone is ready to listen to and to take action on my voice command.

1.2. The Reasons Why It is so simple and easy to use

The key reason that Google Maps GPS navigator in a smartphone is so simple and easy to use is that the
smartphone is communicating with and is supported by a powerful mainframe computer with huge database in
the server through high speed wireless Internet connection. Such high speed wireless Internet connection and
the intelligence in the powerful supporting mainframe computer in the server enables the smartphone to shift all
the heavy and tedious work load from the user to the mainframe computer to make it as simple as possible for
user.

Notice that in Step 1.1.C above, I do not have to spend time and effort to find out the detailed and the precise
street address of the destination and to type such detailed address of the destination into the smartphone. I
only have to say the names of the hotel, town and state. That is enough for the supporting mainframe
computer to do all the necessary work to find out the detailed and precise street address of the destination  
and to use it for the GPS navigation.

The excellent voice recognition technology and Google Assistant App in the Android based smartphone are
also great help to make the Voice Command so simple and easy to use.

1.3. Simple Voice Command to Change Destination

While following the Google Maps based GPS Navigation on the smartphone to drive to the destination
described in Section 1.1, if I change my mind or my family members or friends in my car change our minds
and want to go to Tokyo Seafood Buffet in Freehold, in New Jersey instead of Holiday Inn Hotel as described
in Section 1.1, such change of destination can easily be accomplished by simple voice command without
touching the smartphone:

1.3. A: I say "O.K. Google" to get the attention of the smartphone,

1.3. B: Then I just say "Navigate to Tokyo Seafood Buffet in Freehold".

At this point, the smartphone will respond and say:

All Right, Tokyo Sushi and Hibachi Buffet. Let's Go!

Then the Google Maps GPS Navigator on the smartphone will guide me to drive to the new destination.

Notice that in such change of destination, I do not have to touch the smartphone, I do not have to get off the
highway to stop and to  park my car safely in a suitable parking spot to free up my hands and my mind to find
out the address of the new destination, and I do not have to type in the address of the new destination.
Instead, I just keep on driving on the highway, keep my eyes on the road ahead and just say the simple voice
command to change the destination. The smartphone with high speed wireless communication with the
mainframe computer in the server will do all the necessary detailed work to accomplish the change of
destination on the GPS navigator for the user.

Also notice that the correct and precise name of the new destination is "Tokyo Sushi and Hibachi Buffet" in
Freehold. But what I said approximately is "Tokyo Seafood Buffet" which is acceptable to the smartphone
because the smartphone and its supporting mainframe computer in the server have enough intelligence to
figure out what I really want is Tokyo Sushi and Hibachi Buffet in Freehold, New Jersey. The intelligence in the
smartphone and its supporting mainframe computer is smart enough to be very tolerant and forgiving of user's
sloppiness in saying the name of the destination.

As a contrast, the traditional stand alone GPS navigator is usually very strict and unforgiving for any user's
spelling errors. The Tokyo Seafood Buffet that I said would have been rejected by the traditional stand alone
GPS navigator such that I would be in deep trouble to try to find the correct precise name of the destination to
be acceptable to the "dumb" GPS navigator. Many users are often left in such terrible dead end situation and
do not know what to do with such dumb GPS navigator.

2. Another Ways to Use Google Maps GPS Navigator

This section 2 describes in detail steps of the "more traditional way" to use smart GPS navigator in a
smartphone:

A. Turn on the smartphone

B. Turn on Google Maps Screen by tapping Google icon, then tapping Maps icon

C. On the top of Google Maps screen on a smartphone, there is a search field. If you tap this search field, a
soft keyboard will show up in the lower half of the screen for you to enter the text of your search item, such as
the hotel or the restaurant, etc. that you want to search on the Google Maps.

D. However, on the right side of the Search Field, there is a small icon of a microphone. Tapping this small
microphone icon will bring up a new screen with a larger microphone icon and a line of "Speak Now" on the top
indicating that the smartphone is now ready to take your Voice Input of your search item.

E. If you say your destination slowly and clearly:

"Holiday Inn Hotel, Hazlet, New Jersey"

The smartphone and its GPS navigator can get the detailed and precise street address of this Holiday Inn  
Hotel in Hazlet automatically and quickly, and show such information in the next screen with a small icon of a
car.

F. If you tap this small icon of a car, the next screen will show a small routing map from your current location
to your destination with the text "Start Navigation" under the routing map.

G. If you tap the text "Start Navigation", the smartphone and Google Maps will start GPS navigation with voice
instruction and the associated navigation map to guide the user/driver to the destination.

3. Much Easier to Use as Compared to Traditional Stand Alone GPS Navigators

Sometimes, the smartphone may not understand your voice input accurately or there may be multiple
destinations with the same name within certain distance from your current location. With such uncertainty, the
smartphone does not simply give up; instead it will guess three or four possibilities of what you have said and
provides the list of those four possibilities with four different addresses for you to look at and to choose the
correct one. If all four listed possibilities are all wrong, then you can say one more time. Usually it will get it
right the second time you say it. In rare case of difficulty in voice input, you always have the option to use the
soft keyboard to key in what you want.

This is very different from the traditional stand alone GPS Navigators, which are not so user friendly. The
traditional stand alone GPS navigators often reject the destination input from the user for several reasons such
as:

(1) the user mis-spell a word in the destination,

(2) the typed name of a highway does not conform to the very strict, strange and inconsistent format
requirement (such as CR-537, or County Road 537 or Route 537 or Hwy 537, or 537, etc.). If the format of
the highway you typed is different from that stored in the stand alone GPS navigator, it will be rejected and
you are out of luck,

(3) the destination is not in the town typed by the user, etc.

The traditional stand alone GPS navigator refuses to accept such inputs and simply rejects them in a very
unfriendly way. Many users get stuck in such dead-end situations and do not know what to do. Such
unfriendliness and “dumb” manner is one of the reasons that some people give up and do not want to use such
unfriendly traditional stand alone GPS navigator.

On the other hand, the Google Maps GPS navigator cuts out all these nonsenses, is very user friendly, is very
forgiving for user's typing errors and mistakes, can do many smart things to help users to get what users
want. For example, if user specified a wrong town for the destination, the smarter GPS navigator does not
simply reject it, but will list the destination in another neighboring town, plus several other towns in other states
or countries for the user to look at and to choose the correct one.

In Steps E and F above, the screen actually shows three icons; one is a car icon for navigating a car driver to
the destination, the second icon is a bus icon which can guide a user on how to take public transportation (bus,
or train, etc.) to go to the destination, and the third icon is a pedestrian icon to guide a user to walk to the
destination.

For example, if your destination is a store in a huge shopping center with hundreds of stores, after you park
your car in the large parking lot and get out of your car, the smart GPS navigator in Google Maps will switch
to the pedestrian mode to guide you to walk from your parking location to the correct location of the store in
such a large shopping center.

4. Speed to Search for Destination Information

Most stand-alone GPS navigators have a built-in database of about 6 million Point of Interest (POIs) for user
to choose as the destination. The Google Maps GPS navigator in smartphone with 3G/4G high-speed wireless
link to mainframe computers in the server has practically unlimited large number of POIs for users to choose.

After a user entered the name of a destination for the GPS navigator to search for destination information
such as location/address and phone number, due to the very limited computing power and very limited data
base, the traditional stand alone GPS navigators often spend a long time (e.g., 20 minutes) searching for it
and then come up with the dreadful result of "Not Found", leaving the user in the dead-end situation. On the
other hand, with support of computing power of mainframe computer and unlimited large data base, the
Google Maps GPS navigator usually can find the detailed destination information very fast (in the order of
seconds) for the user.

5. Quality of Information Provided

Furthermore, when looking for a suitable motel near my current location in a sightseeing trip, the GPS
navigator in smartphone provides not only the list of nearby motels with motel names, street addresses,
distance from my current location and phone numbers, but also motel quality (star) rating rated by TripAdvisor
and or Yelp, a map showing the location of the motel and review comments on the motel by other customers.
These are important and useful information for me to make intelligent decision in choosing a suitable nearby
motel.

On a Tuesday morning in Fremont, California, I said "Go to Fremont Public Library" to my smartphone, the
smartphone responded immediately and was ready to guide my driving to Fremont Public Library. But the
smartphone also told me that when I arrived, the library would not be open because on Tuesday, the Fremont
Library is open from 1 PM to 9 PM. With such helpful information, I changed my plan and went to do
something else until afternoon, then I went to Fremont Library in the afternoon. This is just one example of
many useful new service features of "
Google Now" or more advanced "Google Assistant" to make smartphone
and its GPS Navigator smarter and more useful for the users.

Apple also provides equivalent smart service, Siri, on iPhones and Microsoft also provides equivalent smart
service, Cortana, on Microsoft smartphone.

With the support of huge amount of information in the main frame computer in the server, the Google Maps
GPS navigator in the smartphone has a lot of extra information about the destination that can be very useful
and helpful to the user.


6. Traffic Jam Avoidance

The Google Maps on smartphones has Live (real time) traffic conditions, incident reports, and automatic
rerouting to find the best route to avoid traffic jams.

On February 2, 2016, we were driving on I-95 to go from New Jersey to Virginia using the traditional stand
alone GPS navigator. Soon after we went over the Delaware Memorial Bridge, there was a huge traffic Jam.
The traditional GPS navigator did show the traffic jam in that area but did not tell us what to do. At that point, I
pulled out my smartphone and turned on the Google Map GPS navigator which told me that there was
accident couple miles ahead and told me to get off I-95 at the next exit half mile ahead. So, we shifted to the
right lane and got off I-95 at that exit and followed the navigation of the Google Map GPS navigator for a few
miles on the local roads and then got back on I-95 where there were practically no cars at all probably
because all the cars were stuck in that big traffic jam a few miles behind us. So, I was very happy that the
Google Map GPS navigator had the real time traffic information and the intelligence to guide us to bypass that
big traffic jam. Otherwise, we would have stuck in that big traffic jam for a long time.

These are just some examples for the capabilities of Google Maps GPS navigator in smartphone to make the
use of GPS navigator must easier, faster and more powerful.

My sons told me that Google also provides another free GPS Navigator known as WAZE on smartphones at:

https://
play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.waze&hl=en

WAZE has even more and better real time traffic conditions on the roads and can be very useful to many
users.

7. Use Address Book - Another Way

There is an address book (i.e., Contact List) of many friends, restaurants, other business companies, etc. in
my Android based smartphone. This address book is in sync with the address book in my Google Account.
Another way to use Google Maps GPS navigator is to use the address book in my smartphone.

7A. For example, the AAA Office in Old Bridge, New Jersey is in my address book in my smartphone.  If I
want to go to this AAA Office, I open the address book in my smartphone, tap on AAA - Old Bridge,

7B. Then the name, phone number and address of this AAA Office will show up on the next screen with a
(Destination) location icon next to the street address of this AAA Office.

7C. Tap on this (Destination) location icon will trigger Google Maps GPS navigation with the location of this
AAA Office marked on the Google map as the destination. An icon of a small car also shows up in this screen.

7D. Tap on this small car icon will bring up a new screen with a routing map from my current location to this
AAA Office. There is also a blue arrow icon on this screen.

7E. Tap on this blue icon will start the Google Maps GPS navigation with voice instruction and the associated
routing map to guide me to this AAA Office.

By using the address book in the smartphone, you do not need to key in the street address of the destination
into the GPS navigator, avoiding the possible trouble of typing error and is much easier to use than the
process on the traditional stand alone GPS navigator.

If you want to go to a friend's home in your address book, you can use the similar process to set the
destination and let the Google Maps GPS navigator to guide you to the destination.

8. Another Address Book - Use List of Destinations You Used Recently

The Google Maps keeps a list of destinations that you used recently on Google Maps. If your new destination
is in this list, you do not have to type in the whole address again. Instead, you can just look it up and finger
touch the one you want on this list.

Where is this list of old destinations?

In Step C in Section 2 for you to enter your new destination using the soft keyboard, if you look at the mid-
section of the screen above the soft keyboard, you will see a short list of three or four old destinations, that
you used recently, for you to choose. If your new destination is not on that short list of three or four, you can
scroll down and the soft keyboard disappears to free up more screen space to show a much longer list of old
destinations for you to choose. If your new destination is on such list, you just finger touch the destination you
want, then the Google Maps GPS Navigator will use it to navigate to that selected destination.

If fact, this list of old destinations you used recently can be much longer because it includes not only the old
destinations you entered recently on your smartphone, but also all the destinations that you used recently on
Google Maps on your desktop PC or laptop PC in your planning for your trip.


9. More Features in Google Maps GPS Navigator

Some sample video tutorials on how to use more features of Google Maps GPS Navigator on smartphones
are available at:

https://
www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUR08cdIhTQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQdusC9-qhc

If you do an Internet Search, you can find more tutorials on how to use various other features of Google Maps
GPS navigator.

10. In Case if You Have No Wireless Internet Connectivity

The advantages of GPS Navigator on Google Maps in smartphone described above require the smartphone to
have high speed wireless (3G/4G) connectivity to Internet. But there are special situation where the user may
not have such high speed wireless connectivity to Internet such as traveling in certain foreign country or in
some beautiful national parks, national monuments or national wildlife refuges in remote rural area where there
is no 3G/4G wireless service coverage.

Thanks to John Amoss and Ray Tai for pointing out that it is possible to download the Google Maps for the
area of interest ahead of time into the smartphone when you are at home or at places (e.g., in a hotel) where
there are Wi-Fi services. Then the smartphone can use the stored maps offline automatically for basic GPS
navigation when you are in such area. In this way, it will work almost like the traditional stand-alone GPS
navigator. You can download and store such maps for more than one region and it is all free.

In other words, if you plan to drive into an area where there is no wireless/mobile phone service coverage, it is
important that you download the Google Map of that area into your smartphone while you are still at home or
in a hotel where there is WiFi service BEFORE you drive into that area so that your GPS navigator in the
smartphone will work in that area.

10.1. How to Download Google Offline Map for Navigation on Google Maps

When you are at home or in a hotel with Wi-Fi service, download a Google map you need to your smartphone
by
1.        Open the Google Map App on your smartphone,
2.        The Google Map shows your current location and surrounding area
3.        If this is not the area you want to download, then do Google Map Search for a town, city, county or
country that you want to download so that your desired Map is on the screen.
4.        Tap on the 3-bar icon on upper left corner of the screen to pull down the menu
5.        Tap on “offline areas,”
6.        Tap the “+” button at right lower corner.
7.        Adjust the size (area) of the map that you want
8.        Tap “Download” at the lower right corner to download the map into your smartphone.
9.        After the map download is complete, you may edit the name of the downloaded map so that the name
is more descriptive of the area covered by the downloaded map, such as Southeast California Desert, instead
of Map 32.

When you are in the area with no 3G/4G wireless service coverage, Google Maps in your smartphone will
automatically switch into offline mode. But when you’re back in areas with Wi-Fi or 3G/4G wireless service
coverage, Google switches back to online mode automatically.

The required storage space in the smartphone to store the downloaded Google Map depends on the size of
the area of interest and the map information contents in the area. It may require a storage space in the order
of several hundreds MB (i.e., less than 1 GB). So, use Setting in the smartphone to check to make sure that
your smartphone has sufficient spare storage space to store the downloaded map for the area of interest. In
case if the available storage space is insufficient, the storage space in many smartphones can be increased
substantially by installing a suitable micro-SD card with sufficient storage capacity such as 32 GB or 64 GB or
greater.

After the micro-SD card is installed in your smartphone, you may use certain feature in the Setting of
smartphone to specify certain sets of data to be stored on the additional storage space in this installed micro-
SD card.

10.2. More Information on GPS Navigation with Offline Map

More information on such download of offline map for GPS navigation is available in several websites such as:

https://
www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KmQeyq0BSE

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/29/travel/find-your-way-without-losing-your-wallet.html?
module=Promotron&region=Body&action=click&pgtype=article

https://support.google.com/gmm/answer/6291838?hl=en

http://www.androidcentral.com/how-save-map-use-offline-google-maps

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2691196/use-google-maps-and-gps-offline-on-your-android-device.html

https://www.androidpit.com/use-your-google-maps-offline


John Amoss pointed out that the mobile map App "HERE Maps - Offline Navigation" at:

https://
play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.here.app.maps&hl=en

lets you download any global map to reside on the mobile/smartphone and thus you don't need Internet
connectivity for the GPS navigator on smartphone to work. This option of "HERE Maps" may be important and
helpful in some foreign countries (such as Japan) where Google Map cannot be downloaded because of
contractual limitations, language support, address formats, or other reasons. For example, when I tried to
download the map around Tokyo in Japan, the "Download" soft button on my smartphone is grayed out
indicating that it cannot be downloaded because of the reasons mentioned above.


11. Smartphone Holder to Hold Smartphone in a Car for Navigation

Many types of smartphone holder are available on the market to hold the smartphone in a car for GPS
navigation application. Some sample smartphone holder can be seen on the
Amazon website.

I am using Grip Magic/Vent 2 (by MPOW) to hold smartphone in my car. Several pictures of Grip Magic can
be seen
here. It is an Air Vent Magnetic Car Mount. It has four sturdy rubber fingers that can be push into to
grip tight on the air vent of the car. It has a metal plate that can be inserted between the back of the
smartphone and its protective case or attach the adhesive side of the metal plate to the back of the protective
case of the smartphone. The Grip Magic holder has a strong magnet with flat surface that can hold strongly to
the metal plate on the backside of the smartphone. It works well.

I also have a car charger to keep my smartphone charged if I need to use the Google Maps GPS navigator on
the smartphone for extended period of time of hours.

The following web page describes how I use GPS navigator and other related information age technologies to
make my sightseeing driving tours much easier and enjoyable:

http://
www.shltrip.com/Sightseeing_in_Information_Age.html


12. Not a Good Idea to Buy GPS Navigator that is Built-In in a New Car

It is NOT a good idea to buy a GPS navigator that is built-in (in-Dash) in a new car for several reasons, such
as:

12.1 Very Expensive:

The price of a built-in GPS navigator in a car is very expensive in the order of US$1,500 to $3,000. The price
of a typical traditional stand-alone portable GPS navigator is usually only about US$200 or less. Furthermore,
the GPS navigator on Google Maps in a smartphone is FREE.

12.2 Very Expensive to Update the Map:

The typical cost to update the map in a built-in GPS navigator is about US$200 each time whereas most stand-
alone portable GPS navigators provide FREE map update for the life of the GPS navigator. Usually we need
to update the map in the GPS navigator at least once per year because there are always some construction
work going on that changes the roads or the highway exit ramps, etc. every year. For GPS navigator on
Google Maps in a smartphone, there is no need for the user to update the map because online Google Maps
are always up-to-date.

12.3 The Built-In GPS navigator is stuck in a car such that you cannot take it with you and use it in a rental
car or in other cars when you are traveling out of town.

On the other hand, the stand-alone portable GPS navigator and smartphone obviously can be used on any car
and are much more useful.

Some people may say that rental car companies usually offer a rental GPS navigator as an optional item for
the rental car. But using such optional rental GPS navigator in a rental car has two disadvantages:

(1) Incur additional rental charge on the rental GPS navigator, and

(2) It can be a horrible experience to use an unfamiliar GPS navigator in an unfamiliar rental car while driving in
an unfamiliar territory. The driver has to learn real time how to use the unfamiliar GPS navigator and how to
operate the unfamiliar rental car while driving in an unfamiliar territory. The distractions of driver's attention
from the road by piling up such three layers of unfamiliarities together is almost a recipe for the poor driver to
run into an automobile accident.

12.4 Future Trend of In-Dash GPS Navigator in a Car

Google is developing Android-Auto and Apple is developing Apple CarPlay to let a smartphone to use a car’s
center screen for GPS navigation. The user plugs in a smartphone with a USB cord and the smartphone  
powers up on a car’s center screen. Roughly two dozen car brands have signed on to offer such GPS
navigation feature on new cars soon. Obviously, such feature in future cars will have all the advantages of
Free GPS navigator on Google Maps as described above. It allows for Google’s or Apple’s operating system
to essentially take over the center screen and certain control buttons within the car. The consumers expect to
have such coordination between their smartphone and their vehicle.

13. Pedestrian Mode of Navigation for Hiking

The GPS navigator on Google Maps can be used not only for vehicle navigation, but also for pedestrian
navigation for hikers and backpacking on hiking trails. A demonstration for this pedestrian mode of navigation
on Google Maps can be seen at the following YouTube website:

https://
www.youtube.com/watch?v=IutnRcBe8hk

Furthermore, in a large shopping mall with hundreds of stores or in a large office complex with hundred of
companies, the traditional stand alone GPS navigator guides you only to the large mall or the large office
complex. Then it is up to you to find out where is the store of interest to you in that large mall or where is the
particular company in that large office complex.

But Google Maps GPS navigator has details of all the stores in the mall and all the companies in the large
office complex and can guide you to the exact location of the store or the company when you use the
Pedestrian Mode in the mall or in the large office complex.


14. Traffic Color Codes on Google Maps

Another nice feature of GPS navigation on Google Maps is that the real time traffic conditions on the highways
are color coded. Blue color means traffic is normal and smooth on your planned route, orange color on a
section of your planned route means there is a medium amount of slower traffic on that section of the route,
red color on a section of your planned route means there are substantial traffic delays or serious traffic jam on
that section of the road. The more red, the slower the speed of traffic on that section of the road.

Furthermore, the GPS navigator on Google Maps also indicates the number of minutes of extra delay to go
through a given red colored section of the route ahead. Such color coded traffic conditions with delay time
label on the route ahead is quite useful to many people.

For example, if the red section ahead is very short, in the order of a small fraction of a mile and the extra
delay is only a few minutes, the driver may decide to stay on the same route and to tolerate the very heavy
traffic for that short section. But if the red section is very long in the order of many miles and the extra delay is
30 minutes or more, the driver may decide to take the next highway exit and to force the GPS navigator to
produce an alternative route to avoid that long section of heavy traffic jam ahead.

Sometimes, the Google Maps GPS navigator will produce an alternative route to bypass the heavy traffic jam
and offer the alternative route as an option for the driver to decide to stay on the same route or to accept the
suggested alternative route.

15. Safety Consideration in Using GPS Navigator

There are news articles reporting people in remote areas followed GPS navigator into unpaved road and get
stuck in such remote area for several days.

Please see one of many examples of such dangers on unpaved roads as reported at:

http://
www.insideedition.com/headlines/22400-after-woman-gets-stuck-in-desert-for-5-days-how-to-avoid-
being-led-astray

Similarly, in the winter season, do not drive onto an unplowed road with heavy snow in a remote and unfamiliar
area. Getting stuck in remote area in very cold winter with heavy snow for many days can be life threatening.

So, it is important to take some precaution steps in your planning for your trips in such remote areas:

15.1. Fill Up the Gas Tank in Every Morning

Spectacular national parks are often in remote areas. When I am doing sightseeing driving tour in a remote
area, the first thing I do in the morning is to fill up the gas tank of my car near the hotel before I go anywhere.
This is an important step to make sure that I do not run out of gas and get stranded in a remote area where
there may be no cell phone coverage such that the stranded person cannot call for help.

I remember that when I did the driving tour in Alaska, the local advice is that when you see a gas station, fill up
the gas tank of your car because the distance between gas stations is often very far in Alaska and the next
gas station may be out of gas. You do not want to run out of gas and get stranded in remote area in Alaska
where Grizzly bear may show up to visit you.

15.2. Download the Google Map into the Smartphone Before the Trip

If I plan to tour a remote area where there may be no cell phone coverage, I will download the Google Map
for that remote area into my smartphone while I am still at home or in a hotel where there are WiFi service to
facilitate such map download. The procedure to download Google Map into smartphone is described in
Section 10. Or use the traditional stand alone GPS navigator which does not need Internet connectivity to
work. In this way, the GPS navigator will work properly in such remote area even when there is no cell phone
coverage.

Without such pre-loaded map and when the car is at the fringe area of weak cell phone signal, a smartphone
based GPS navigator may appear to be working, but may be more likely to give wrong navigation instructions
and tell the driver to make the wrong turn into the wrong road.

15.3. Do Not Drive into Unpaved Road in Unfamiliar Territory

In an unfamiliar and remote area, do not drive onto an unpaved road even if the GPS navigator tell you to do
so. The probability is high of getting stuck or getting into life threating danger if one drives onto an unpaved
road in an unfamiliar territories.  For example, see the following video on how an unpaved road in Joshua Tree
National Park can become very difficult and dangerous for a regular sedan to get stuck in a desolate desert
with no mobile phone service coverage:

http://
www.desertusa.com/video_pages/black-eagle-road.html

it can become a life and death situation.

It is much safer to stay on paved road even if it is a longer road to get to the destination. When you reject the
unpaved road recommended by the GPS navigator and keep on driving on the paved road, your persistence
will force the GPS navigator to re-route (to avoid the unpaved road) to reach your destination.