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Free Maps

Free Maps by
Gary Woods

One thing Real Estate offices and Gas Stations used to offer was free maps. Some places still do, but now there's another alternative for Free Maps!!

Microsoft has a service for Mobile Devices called Live Search that you can find at It offers a range of services including Web search, news search, local search, maps and directions. You can also get quick answer to questions like current stock prices. You install the program on your device and the software pulls the data from Microsoft's Virtual Earth servers.

An option to Microsoft's Virtual Earth is Google Maps that was released earlier this year for handheld devices. The application lets you access Google Maps on Windows Mobile devices that are version 2003 or higher, although there is currently no mention of Windows Mobile 6 compatibility. The coolest part about the Google Maps is that GPS is enabled with the Windows Mobile 5.0 version. The software offers interactive maps that let you zoom in or out or move around in all directions. And you can get detailed walking directions.

A third option if you have a Nokia phone is Smart2go. It's a similar application as those from Microsoft and Google but unlike those two firms you can actually download the map and have it on your mobile device. The good news is Smart2go also has GPS integration, but the bad news is that not all services are free. So if you're ready to go walk about on us, check out one of the offerings from Microsoft, Google and Nokia.

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. You can hear Gary on the Radio at 1290 AM Monday 9-10 AM and he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc