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To access one of Google Maps’ best hidden features, you have to know the magic word. Well, it’s a phrase, really, and that phrase is: “OK Maps.” Enter this phrase into the Google Maps app and the portion of the map that’s currently visible on your screen will be saved directly to your device. Once saved, you can access that map even without a data connection.

It’s way better than just taking a screenshot, because your saved map lets you zoom in for greater detail. Also, it works on both iOS and Android devices.*

Here’s how to do it. Zoom in on a part of a map that you want to save for offline browsing. Then, tap the search bar and type “OK Maps” (minus the quotes) and hit the Search button. You can also speak this into the phone — just speak “O” and “K” with a slight pause between them, otherwise your phone may spell it as “Okay” and this trick won’t work.

If all goes well, you should see a prompt indicating that the map is downloading. It will take about 10 seconds, depending on the size of the map you’ve selected and the speed of your internet connection. Wait for the message that says “The on-screen map area has been cached,” and you’re good to go.

The next time you open Google Maps and there’s no signal available, you’ll be able to view and browse your saved map. It’s especially helpful on Wi-Fi-only iPads or Android tablets, and for when your device is in airplane mode. For example, you can virtually explore the area around your hotel while you’re flying to the city you’ll be visiting. And speaking of foreign travel, this is also very helpful for exploring cities where data roaming is excessively expensive and public Wi-Fi spots are rare.

You’ll still need some kind of data signal to get directions, and for real-time navigation. You will also need GPS access in order to pinpoint your exact location on your saved map. But your phone’s compass works all the time, so even if GPS isn’t available, you can still get your direction sorted.

When I first tried this, I got overexcited and tried to download the entire state of California, which resulted in a most un-Google-like grammatically confusing error message: “The on-screen map are too large, zoom in first.” Turns out, it will only cache street data up to about 10 miles away. Large enough for most cities, but not for a whole county. I was, however, able to save a large swath of San Francisco, as well as the entire South Bay region. Not too shabby.

google map googlemap offline

Googlemap offline

 

original article from: wierd
Annunci

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Ed eccomi qui, come tutti gli anni da 10 anni a questa parte, la notte prima di ripartire per l’Australia, la mia solita routine. Rimanere sveglio il piu possibile cosi da collassare di sonno in Aereo e farmi passare questa botta di ore di volo.

Bagagli fatti, 15kg nello zaino e 16nella sacca da snow… ma senza snowboard eheheh, anzi e’ praticamente vuota, ci sono solo un paio di scarponi con 2 bocce di grappa trentina che regalero ad amici, poi 2,5kg un pacco di Galatine che Silvia mi ha chiesto di portarle, unica confezione che sono riuscito a trovare cazzo hahahah 35euro di Galatine 🙂 . Poi Andrea mi ha chiesto i deodoranti stik della infasil, 7 di quelli sono anche dentro la sacca da snow. Poi c’e un extra…. 10kg di brochure e mappe delle Dolomiti di cui 6km della Dolomiti superskipass andati a prendere personalmente da Giulia in Val Gardena e 4kg di brochure della Val di Fassa che mi ha consegnato gentilmente Elena tra una chiacchiera e l’altra. Ecco questi ultimi 10km devo fare un po un barbatrucco quando li imbarco altrimenti mi tocca pagare 30 o 40 euro per extra Kg…..
Io ho a disposizione 30kg

Quiiiindi domani sveglia presto un giro in centro e poi si parte verso Venezia con tappa a Mira per pranzo di pesce mmmmmmmmm e poi in aeroporto verso le 7, il volo e alle 9 di sera circa.
Dovrei arrivare a Melbourne Martedi mattina e ci sara un cazzo di freddo hahahahahah. Beh io intando spero che domani piova o faccia freddo cosi saro gia vestito perfettamente per l’arrivo, altrimenti mi tocca “uscire” i pantaloni corti, infradito cazzz.

Ok dai ora spengo qui e mi guardo un film

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Per chi non conoscesse l’Australia Byron Bay e’ una delle mete piu famose e piu ricercate sia da parte dei turisti che vengono a farsi un giro qui, sia dai giovani australiani, sia dai backpakers che si girano l’australia in lungo e in largo.   Byron Bay e’ il punto piu ad est del continente Australiano, anticamente era un luogo di incontro per le varie tribu aborigene, tuttora e’ un inportantissimo luogo di incontro con una forte energia. Dal 2001 la mia prima volta in Australia, bene o male finisco sempre a Byron Bay in un modo o nell’altro.   A Byron ho conosciuto persone stupende in questi anni, gente che vive tuttora qui, o gente che era qui di passaggio. Valentina, Daria, Luca, la piccola Giorgia, Peppe, zio Sergio, Luigi, Massimo sono alcuni di questi amici con cui mantengo i contatti e mi fa sempre un sacco piacere tornare a trovarli. Grazie a Valentina quest’anno mi sono fatto quasi un mese di Byronbay dove finalmente ho potuto dedicarmi al surf :)   Non sono rimasto sempre a Byron da meta settembre quando ho finito il lavoro sulla neve ai primi di dicembre ho girato un po come una trottola, sono andato in Gold Coast a trovare Caroltta e Rod e il loro nuovo negozio, poi sono andato a nord di Cairns ad un rave party di 1 settimana con eclissi totale di sole, poi sono andato a Yamba al matrimonio di due carissimi amici istruttori di sci e snowboard, poi ho preso un volo e sono venuto a Melbourne perche avevo degli appuntamenti. Sisi diciamo che non sono proprio stato fermo a grattarmi i marrrrroni tutto il tempo :)

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And finally is my journey is begun. At 21.15 on the metro from Brighton to Flinder street, then change train to Southern cross where with the Skybus I’ve reach Melbourne Airport at 10.40PM. Bit of waiting for the chek-in and then after walking around few shops in the airport we get trhu the custom and again waiting to jump on the plane and fly away…

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Getting ready

I’m getting ready and organising my bags and stuff to take to my 2 months in India. I will travel from south to north so I will have to take a different range of clothing from hot summer to cold mountain.
So far thats my list (just to give you an Idea of what is my travel list)
– 4 tshirts
– 2 shorts
– 2 hodies
– 1 long pants
– belt
– underwear

– thongs
– reefsandals
– shoes
– towel
– bedbag

– sunglasses
– suncream
– firstaid kit
– imodium and other stuff
– gel dryclean
– wettissue
– plastic portable knife-fork-spoon

– camera
– pc
– miniharddisk
– 8GB usb
– gopro
– mobilephone
– differnt chargers
– international power adapter
– torch
– ipod
– watch
– earplug
– beauty case

– LonelyPlanet
– folder with tikets and maps
– passport + photocopy of passport and photocopy of Indian visa
– passport photos
– Indian cash
– US $
– Neckwallet for money and Passport
– Travelcredit card
– Credit Card

and for the flyght…. 2maxi bags of Maltesers, 2maxi bags of Pods, 1 bag of Baiocchi. Yes ok I’m ready ahhahahaha

Those are the medicine I bought today… you know…. just in case 😉

 

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And now we are on the VISA section. I’ve cheked online few sources about Visa etc but then I’ve decided to go to the office who will organize the Visa for you. Here in Melbourne this office is in the city in Swanson street @ Part 4 Suite, Level 12, 55 Swanston Street.

India visa office Melbourne

So Tuesday 20 Sep. I went to this office to try to do the Visa, wait for 20 minutes my turn, I already knew that i could not apply for the visa because as soon as i get in the office Visa one big sign says ” We accept only Visa applications made via Internet ” … so I decided to do the queue anyway to have some informations.
I’ve ask how long it takes to get the visa because we have already booked the fly the for the 29, and the guy asked me what type of passport I have, and because I hold an Italian passport and not from the Commonwealth I have to wait from 10 days to 2 weeks, instead of 5 days like one Australian citizen. Noooooooooooo !!!!!!!

First thing i went to the Emirates office just around the corner on Collins st. and changed my fly to the 6th October, that was no problem, they changed my fly in 5 minutes easy, the problem now is AirAsia… no office anywhere, you can contact them only online…. or calling them @ 5$ per minute…..

Back home straight on the Visa website http://www.vfs-in-au.net/ and apply for the Tourist Visa fill up the Form prit it out the result.
The next day with the result of my form I went back at the office in Swanston street. Next to the Visa office is another sort of internet point, copy center etc who work primary with all the people who are there for Visa, Passport, etc. The documents you need to apply for your Indian Visa are:

– PASSPORT
– PASSPORT FOTO ( 1x)
– COPY OF THE RECIPE ( AFTER YOU LODGE HERE  http://www.vfs-in-au.net/ )
– PHOTOCOPY OF YOUR DETAILS ON THE PASSPORT
– PHOTOCOPY OF YOUR VALID AUSTRALIAN VISA  (if you are not resident …. off course 😉 )

I went to the office next door and they can do the:
– Passport foto – 10 $
– Photocopy of your details – 50 cent
– Photocopy of Australian Visa – 50 cents
– Print the Visa – 50 cents
If you need they have 10 computers and you can use for 5 minutes for free.

With all my papers I went back again in the queue (one tips, once you get there, before do all the paper copy, foto, printing, etc, get the ticket with your number at the main entrance first and then do all what you have to do so you don’t have to wait forever) and finally at the desk where i give all my documents to the lady, she put everything in one plastic envelope with one number inside, I’ve payd 110$ (better cash otherwise they charge you 5%) and the lady gave to me a docket with the information:

– REFERENCE NUMBER ( that you need if you want to check when your Passport is ready to be collected)
– WEBSITE http://www.vfs-in-au.net/ (where you can chek if the Passport is ready)  Personally ive used directly this link to check for my visa because is quicker Visacheck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As soon as i did the payment i got one email on my Blackberry from the VSFinfo ( the company who organize the Visa )

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All done, I tough I will have to wait at least 10 days for sure, so I was already thinking to go to visit some friends in Portsea and some others in Geelong, spending some time here and there. After one day I try to check this link that i got online, so I’ve put the code on my docket my date of birth and as results it says “Your application is under valuation”, well good someone is looking at it 🙂
The same nite at 11PM I was checking for some email and ended up checking again for my Visa, but this time the message changed to ” your application and Passport is ready to be collected at our office between 10AM and 3PM, thank you” ….. I could not believe that, after 24 hours I have already my Indian Visa!!!

The day after i went straight to the office and with my docket i collect my passport with my visa! Runed to the Emirates office and changed my fly back again from the 6th to the 29sept.

This is crazy but i got my Visa in superfast time…. probably they like Italians ahahhahahah

 

 

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Ok I’m still in Australia at the moment but I’m in a good poynt…

I’ve started 3 weeks ago thinking about where to go and when I cam in Melbourne to visit my friend Gus he gave me some suggestions and the most interesting one was India. So the same day I’ve tooked the Lonely Planet Book about India
Lonely Planet India

So happy for my new book as soon as I came up to Mt.Buller I started looking at the different region and places and maps and pictures etc.

Yes, it’s India i thoug! Soon i’ve started to look online as well, WikiTravel India, looking for some touristic group on Facebook, etc.

A friend of mine suggested me to contact the Indian High Commission in Australia and check their website.

I’ve even checked ” dove siamo nel mondo ” (where we are in the world) It’s one italian website from the Italian Foreign Minister where you can log in and write about where you are and where you will go during your travels.

Then I’ve checked ” viaggiare sicuri ” (travel safe) another italian website where you can chek all the information about problems natural emergency, wars, all kind of problems… And you even have all the informations about the place where you like to go.

After that the big step, looking for the flights and where to fly into. This is a long session, I spent nearly 5 hours on internet try to combine Airlines and place to fly into and price. Finally I’ve find a really good deal: Fly Emirates from Melbourne to Kualalumpur for 65$…. (65$ only for the tax, because I have used my skymiles so i fly for free) Then from Kualalumpur to Chennai for 98$ with AirAsia, total 163$ from Melbourne to India… not bad 😉
A good website to find flights is Skyscanner, tx to that i find all my flights to and from India.

Booked my flights, chosen my spot on the fly, checked in, I’m ready to fly… Thursday 29 September at 3.20AM from Melbourne and then from Kualalumpur to Chennai, arriving in India at 6.00PM of the 29th.

Then is time to looking for a place to stay and to visit once arrived there so I’ve start contact few people from Chennai thru Couchsurfing. Couchsurfing is one of the best source for travellers you can find on the web, I’m member of CS since 2004 and I’ve uset it allot douring my travels, for find informations from real locals, for a drink, for a couch were i could sleep or for just using the shower 🙂 but always fantastic experiences.

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