Over the years I’ve been asked many times how I “find” stuff to visit while I’m out riding. It is a mix of serendipity and old-fashioned administrative work. The former I can’t help with other than to say keep your eyes open to the world. The latter? Use what you already have at your fingertips.
When I read about a place that interests me or if I see a photo of something I like – I will Google it for more information. Once I find the basic area or an actual address, I’ll then look it up on Google Maps, checking the street view when possible. That’s when I’ll favorite or star it on Google Maps for safe keeping.
If you’re signed in to a Google account, the stars on your map will be available to you, across devices.
When you open the Google Maps app on your phone, it geolocates you by default. If you’ve starred a place in your current vicinity then navigating to it becomes easy peasy. Just click the star and get directions.
I find these mapped favorites tremendously helpful if I’m passing through an area I’m not familiar with. I might’ve read about something two years ago and long since forgotten the particulars about it. One glance at the map and the little star gives me a clue that some point of interest is nearby and maybe I ought to go and see what it is.
Having that personalized bank of stars just floating out there on the map means there is always something to see.
One feature that I like is that you can change the icon for your starred favorites. For example – maybe you don’t want to remove the star from the map but you want to note that you ‘ve already been there. You can change the star to something else to indicated that you’ve visited it.
Last year I bought a Lifeproof case and an X Grip for my phone, making it accessible on my handlebars. This made using Google Maps even easier. I can pull over, see what’s nearby and get directions piped into my helmet via my Sena headset. Isn’t technology amazing?