Please Steal This Million-Dollar Map Idea

Google Maps, Mapquest, Apple Maps and other online mapping applications have changed the way we all think about and use maps.

But maybe not so much when we’re on vacation. And particularly when we’re on vacation outside of our home country.

Over on TravBuddy, travelhog164 asked fellow travelers what types of maps they use when visiting another country. While downloading maps to phones and tablets is certainly common, it’s interesting to see how many still use plain old paper maps.

I usually have an offline map downloaded on my iPhone and iPad. But I also use the paper maps provided by the local tourist office, usually that is easier to use because you don’t have a risk as great as your phone getting snatched if you bring it out in a crowded area. ~nolan

I usually get a map from the hotel I am staying, if it looks substandard I discard it and go to the tourist office. One thing I know for sure is that travel books rarely have an accurate map ~sorefeet

For my part, I tend to agree that hotel and tourist office maps are actually quite handy. These types of maps are geared toward the visitor who wants to know the easiest routes to the tourist sites, even if the route shown isn’t necessarily the fastest or most efficient. We visitors don’t necessarily need to know (or be confused by) every back road and alleyway. And a map that displays the major routes and major attractions in an easy-to-read graphic way, and that can also easily fold up and fit in your pocket can be much more useful than an Atlas road book with too much detail.

So, what’s the million-dollar idea? An app for mobile devices that creates local “attraction” maps based on the hotel at which you are staying. The hotel would be located at the center of the map, with the major attractions and major routes displayed in relation to the hotel. Travelers should be able to download the map prior to their trip to avoid data connection/roaming charges while on the trip itself.

Discovery Maps might already have a head start on this concept with their MAPAPPTM, though it looks like it still needs some fleshing out and their locations are limited.

Lars Rasmussen, if you’re listening, please don’t hesitate to steal this idea.

Read the thread in its entirety: How do people get around?

Image: “Tourist reading a map” by Pedro Ribeiro Simoes. CC BY 2.0.


  1. I create my own map using google maps that has my hotel on it along with all the sights and restaurants we plan on visiting.

  2. You can already do this with tripadvisor and their map integration. The only real difference is that it shows all routes/roads rather than just the major ones (which IMO is more helpful).

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