Google Offers Traffic Maps on Mobile Phones

Google Maps has a mobile version. This week they’ve begun offering real-time traffic on their mobile map as well. You can download their application for your phone for free at (The list of supported phones and devices is available at

Of course it takes a few minutes to download and install the software. Once that’s done you’ll have to page through Google’s terms of service. Once you’ve accepted the terms, you’ll get a map of the US and Canada. A menu gives you the option to zoom and pan; the keyboard-based instructions for zooming and panning were not intuitive but easy to pick up. Loading as I zoomed in seemed to take an extra bit of time. A couple of times the map seemed to get hung up loading; I wonder if the recent news about the traffic reports has slogged the Google server some.

Anyway, you have the option of viewing a map view or a satellite view (for my phone I found map views were the easiest to see.) From the menu you can get directions, find locations, or view traffic; you do have to be zoomed in a certain amount to view traffic, and when I tried to view traffic I was warned that it might load slowly on my phone. After a while I didn’t really see much of a difference in the map; maybe the area I was looking wasn’t one of the metro areas Google covered (the extreme slowness of map loading curbed both my ability to experiment and my enthusiasm for experimenting.)

I don’t know if it’s my phone, my phone’s Internet connection, or maybe Google’s server taking a load under recent announcements, but I couldn’t make much of Google’s mobile maps with traffic. Your milage may vary; I’m going to try it with a different phone in a week or so.

Categories: News