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#220 Google Maps

February 2, 2015

IMG_6943Submitted by Wayan Vota

Back in the olden days, a freshly arrived expat aid worker was at the mercy of taxi drivers when navigating a city. Often lacking a detailed map or sense of local landmarks, the EAW would not know distances or even the right direction to his or her next meeting. Long, expensive drives were the usual result. Taxi drivers would act like they knew the location, but they were often just as lost as the EAW, yet unwilling to lose face or a fat fare.

Then came Google Maps on the mobile phone. Now the EAW knows as much, or sometime more, than the taxi driver. Expats can find their destination, track progress, and more often than not, direct the driver to the location.

All hail the power transfer from local to expat!  May your next expat taxi ride be fast and direct.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Melissa B permalink
    February 2, 2015 6:31 am

    But good luck doing this as a new arrival when the way that the locals and long-termers refer to a street or area bears no resemblance to the “real” street name or what’s on the map. You might find someone who knows where Africa Avenue is (but you’re better off asking to go to Bole) or that what you call “Ethio-China Street” from Google Maps is what they know as Wolo Sefer, but maybe not.

  2. February 2, 2015 6:32 am’ve been to Ghana…Interesting :)

  3. March 5, 2016 6:00 pm

    Well make sure you have either expensive data roaming to support online navigation apps, or better – get an offline application, hopefully with a knowledge where you going – i.e. actual location on that map. :)

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