An offshoot of academic Geography, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), underpins a lot of the virtual world we inabit (and produce) these days. GIS is the backbone of Google Maps, for example, as well as other, less-well-known (but arguably more impressive) mapping sites, such as Open Street Map. It’s all good for Geography. Note to Geography students: learn GIS!
Google Maps is probably one of the most-used mapping sites. People use it to locate restaurants and shops, or to show where a conference will be held. Being able to read maps has (perhaps?) never been more important. Of course, Google Maps have been around Dublin life for a good while now, but some recent (in some cases, extremely welcome) developments suggest the Google Maps craze is now really sweeping through the city.
Take the amazing discovery by Dublin Bus that their former route maps were awkward, poorly constructed, and for newcomers to the city, essentially useless. Bringing Dublin Bus into the 21st century and into the era of the Web, the company has now launched Google Maps for its bus routes. So, as the image below shows, it is now posible to see exactly the route for buses such as the 4a.
What a development!
Another place where Google Maps is used in Dublin life is in the Dublin Bikes scheme. The controversial scheme (‘controversial’ because the bikes are provided to Dublin citizens by JC Decaux, an advertising company which has installed cumbersome hoardings across the city) uses Google Maps to help users locate stands where bikes can be collected and dropped off.