Roaming Canadian Roads (without roaming charges)

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I love me some maps. Can’t leave home without ’em. So for my bike tour I sought out a replacement for the Google Maps app on my smartphone, since there are times when I cannot access a cellphone signal, or more commonly, would prefer not to pay roaming charges to my provider for venturing into Canada.

Screenshot of Maps.me
Screenshot of Maps.me

A $2 solution that solves my problem is the Maps.Me app (for iOS, Android, Blackberry). First, before leaving the land of Internet, the app allows you to freely download maps of entire states or provinces from OpenStreetMap, the user-contributed platform that rivals Google. Later, when wandering in rural or urban areas, turn on the Maps.Me app to find your location, zoom around, or search for place names. It relies on the GPS receiver in your device, which draws battery power but does NOT require an Internet connection. This tool couldn’t tell me where to find the best inexpensive sushi in Vancouver, but as long as I already had the street name (Davie Street between Granville and Seymour), I could find my way there and back. Absolutely delicious.

 

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Jack Dougherty

Jack Dougherty writes about cycling adventures, advocacy, and his growing appetite at JackBikes.org.