Field Trip Time!


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Photo courtesy of Wired.com

Google is very good at many things. Web browsing, email, a wide variety other web services, and perhaps most impressive are apps. Recently Google released something truly awesome, Field Trip. What make this so unique and worthy of my praise you ask?

For starters, people like me who tend to have a general idea of what they want, but also tend to be indecisive, enjoy things that do half the work for us. Field Trip shows you a map of the area and highlights any interesting or historical landmarks including unique architecture, plus any Museums or Art Galleries nearby. When I travel, I often spend hours researching what’s worth visiting in the area, and while it’s easy to find the well-known locations, I prefer the path less traveled. Luckily, Field Trip shows you everything! I mean everything!

When I opened it up for the first time the app asked me how and when I wanted to receive an update that something cool was nearby. I, of course, want to know all the time (something I would soon have to change). After that the local database was downloaded and the “Nearby” category showed me anything it found.  One hit right off the bat: a house just down the street from me. The listing was complete with vintage photos and a biography of the man who designed it. I’ve ridden my bike in front of that house as a kid, my sister had a friend who lived there, and now my kids and I go by it on walks. Until now, I never knew it was designed by a well-known architect. How awesome is that?!

Then things got interesting. I zoomed out the map a bit only to find dozens of more “cards” highlighting things I didn’t even know we’re in my neighborhood. Like the 1920’s trolley car on display just down the street. I could easily go on a staycation and just explore a 10-mile area for the day. Imagine the possibilities next time I actually go somewhere not in my area.  The only drawback to the Field Trip app was how often it wanted to remind me about everything near me. I very quickly needed to turn off the constant notifications. However if I’m intending to use it for a trip, it’s a simple process to turn it back on. What is really handy is that the app can also give you entertainment and food suggestions, and even show local deals that advertise on Google.

So next time you’re out and about and want to get a great idea of all the interesting things around you, have Google take you on a Field Trip. It’s a trip. Really.

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