Get around SXSW with my handy web application (useful for desktop, tablet and smartphone).
[caption id="attachment_1505" align="aligncenter" width="550" caption="SXSW 2012 custom venue map"][/caption] SXSW is next week, so guess who is going a million miles an hour to prepare? Yep, you guessed it, yours truly. One of the hardest things about going to SXSW is that it is a conference that is spreadout all over downtown; so, if you're not a local, it's very challenging to find your way around to make your schedule without losing your mind. So, I know I needed to solve this problem and develop a solution fast. I've only been in Austin a little over a year and half and live about 30 minutes NW of the city and don't have the exact map in my mind just yet.
Well, this is where I needed a quick and easy map on my phone to help me in a pinch, without having to type in every address as I am avoiding throngs of people and trying to focus on what's next. My first thought was to develop a schedule in evernote or a google spreadsheet with a link out to the google map url for each venue, which is nice, but i needed something visual so I could quickly assess feasibility of any last minute changes to my plans (this always! happens at sxsw for a variety of reasons, so be flexible and ready to go at a moments notice).
In order to solve my map dilema, I googled for a solution but nothing turned up. There are no SXSW maps for this mobile-attendee-looking-at-all-options purpose, so I developed my own today and am now sharing it with you so you can use it too! There are two "views" of my SXSW Map (web and mobile). First, a view via web browser of Google Maps to use on your laptop. Second, a mobile version optimized to display nicely on your smartphone or tablet. My phone always wants to open up the Google Maps application and doesn't allow me to access Google Maps directly via the web, so there was a huge problem right away with trying to view my new custom SXSW map that way.
So next, I found a solution to address that very issue. That was all I needed to develop a highly useful mobile version of my custom SXSW venue map, so here it is: Custom Google Map designed just for SXSW - list of Austin venues / mapped locations
1. Web browser - SXSW Map (good for your laptop, see image above elow)
2. Mobile view - SXSW Map (good for your smartphone or tablet, see both images below)
Using #2 Mobile view above, select the venue location you want to go to then the Google Maps application will pop up with on your device with the map, from there you know the drill, see the visual map, select the button to do more options like "get directions from here" (tip: select the pedestrian icon if you're walking!).
Here are some screenshots below from my phone so you can see what the experience is like. Let me know if you have any feedback or ideas for improvements. I hope this is useful for you - let me know. Perhaps I will bump into you while you're navigating your way around SXSW with my map on your phone! Happy mapping.
[caption id="attachment_1508" align="alignleft" width="433" caption="SXSW Venue Map - Mobile version (TIP: Click arrow, set Bookmark on Home Screen)"][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_1430" align="alignnone" width="433" caption="SXSW map google app (appears after you select a venue above)"][/caption]
See the MAP here as well... Feel free to re-use / embed on your site; of course, please attribute back to me and link to this blog post here. Thank you.
View SXSW 2012 in a larger map