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Here we are once again on the heels of another International Esri User Conference #esriuc. This means that geeks and GeoGeeks from all over the World (over 150 countries I’m guessing) will be converging on the city for the annual Geo Luv-fest.
As this will be my 18th consecutive year at ESRIUC, and I typically fly into San Diego from Canada, I’m pretty well versed with the steps to go through in order to prepare for a very busy week. Perhaps the most helpful tools one can have for the week is mobile apps and services in order to help you be more productive, be on time, and most important, find your way around the Gaslamp. And so, here’s my recommendation for several “must have” mobile apps that will definitely help you have a better week.
San Diego Story Map
Our friends at Esri have tipped us off about a fun, curated map of places that you might want to visit while in San Diego… a pretty nice UI too! This map is mobile friendly and was designed by San Diego native, Rupert Essinger from the Esri Story Maps Team. See the San Diego Story Map here
HERE Maps and Mobile Navigation
Sure, you can go offline with Google Maps too but honestly, I prefer HERE as the service of choice for my mobile navigation. This free, mobile app is also designed very nicely to work perfectly while offline so if you happen to be visiting from abroad and are offline for the week (except for WiFi) then HERE is perfect. Simply download the California dataset and load onto your MicroSD card and BAM, you’ll have turn by turn, voice guided navigation at your fingertips for the entire week.
San Diego Gaslamp Map
In case you need help finding your way around the Gaslamp Quarter during the conference next week, (or you just want to know what’s changed from last year), Jim and Martha, San Diego locals, have put together an updated reference map for your enjoyment. USe the map to find all the best places to eat and drink in and around the Gaslamp district. This resource has been updated over a number of years and provides some very useful, local knowledge and tips. Print out the PDF maps or pull up the web service on your mobile – see also gaslampmap.com.
Avenza PDF Maps
Avenza’s awesome PDF maps app (with over 1 million downloads to date) functions perfectly on mobile (Android of iOS) and also has no trouble functioning in offline mode. Simply load the app on your device, find some San Deigo are maps of interest and instal them before you go and you’ll be set for the week. For the die-hard GeoGeek you might want to collect data and load information from around the Gaslamp during the week. Add points from all the places you visit, record notes and even expense reports (you can do this while offline as well). Note, if you have your own data and maps created for San Diego you can even share them and make some extra $$ by publishing them in the PDF Maps Store!
Sure, you also use Lyft if you like, but Uber is my ride sharing service of choice! Uber is indeed in San Diego and you can also request Uber X pickup from SAN airport (note, Uber now also has ride share so you can split the ride with other GeoGeeks and get into the Gaslamp for peanuts!! If you don’t have Uber or have no account, sign-up before you go to ESRIUC, and get it all ready beforehand… Uber can even be linked to your PayPal for fast, simple payment. Be sure to check out the mobile Uber app carefully as its a really awesome piece of mobile Geo Technology!! PS, if you need to sign-up, use my Uber Code “glennlub” for a discount/treat and I get a little bonus for helping you as well!
PS: If you happen to be visiting the USA and are concerned about data roaming etc… I suggest you visit either AT&T or T-Mobile and buy yourself a pre-paid SIM Card. The cost is about $40-$45 for a 30 day SIM card that will get you several GB of data, unlimited texting, loads of local calling and more! It’s priceless…
Bonus – several other mobile apps that I wouldn’t be without:
- Slack – to stay in touch with your team
- Google hangouts mobile – hangout with your family and share the esriuc updates
- Starbucks mobile – well… I need my 4 cups a day!
- Instagram – capture and share moments all week long, be sure to share them with @esrigram and tag them #esriuc
Finally, if you want to hook-up and say hi while at UC, be sure to give me a tweet or a shoutout via twitter @gletham as I’ll be around all week!