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 http://www.google.com/gmm/index.html. (The list of supported phones and devices is available at http://www.google.com/gmm/devices.html.
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.