Google’s mobile map application added live traffic data earlier this week.
It is the best mobile application I’ve seen to date. With all the terrible WAP sites out there, it’s great to see a wireless data application that works and works very well.
I’ve been using Google mobile maps (sans traffic) on my Samsung A900 for about four months. You can quickly find businesses and get directions. You can pan almost as smoothly as you can on the Web version of Google Maps. You can even pull up satellite images.
Now you can also see traffic conditions on some roads in major metro areas. Roads are color-coded red, yellow or green based on congestion. (Unfortunately, the traffic overlay also covers up the road names in my tests.)
It’s a neat trick, though I have to wonder how many traffic accidents will be caused by people trying to check out traffic conditions on their mobile phone.
This release also adds the ability to store favorite places and routes, a must in the mobile world where data entry is tedious.
Routing is the best I’ve seen on a non-GPS enabled application. You can step through each segment of a route so that only the most pertinent information is presented. It will also estimate the amount of traffic delay. The one major flaw in the routing is that it doesn’t automatically adjust the scale of the map when you have a series of maneuvers that are close together.