Join 3,572 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


I need situated
July 20, 2012 10:15 AM   Subscribe

Is there any way (either by app or setting) to make my Android tell me where, by name, I am?

I live in a fairly sizable city with an obscene number of neighborhoods, buroughs, and associated suburbs, all of which blur together without much signage. I also like to go on roadtrips with a minimum amount of planning. Both of these situations often lead me to wonder: what, specifically, is the name of the place that I'm in?

Is there a way to automatically call up this information on my smartphone? The perfect solution would be integrated with Google's navigation system, but almost as good would be an app running in the background. Does such a thing exist? My Google / Play Store Fu has failed me...
posted by lordcorvid to Technology (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
It depends on how specific you want to get with the location names and whether those names are "official" names or not.

Since I live in Los Angeles, a city with lots of different area names, some official, some not official, I'll answer as to what I would do in Los Angeles to accomplish what I think you're asking. I just switched from Android to iPhone a few weeks ago, so this is based on my now not particularly useful Android knowledge:

For officially-named places whose names show up on Google Maps, I would just look at the Google Map for my present location and zoom to whatever level will show that place name.

For more amorphous or unofficially named places - Silverlake, Los Feliz, Eagle Rock, Echo Park, and the like - I would figure out on a map what I think constitutes the rough geographic center of those places and create a pin or placemarker or whatever Google Maps calls it with that place name, so that I would see it when I look at Google Maps in that area.

Does that cover what you're trying to do?
posted by The World Famous at 10:20 AM on July 20, 2012


How much work are you willing to put into this? I imagine it could be done using Llama, but you'd have to physically go to each location, set it to discover that area (it scans by cell tower, so if they are too close that they'd use the same cell tower then you're outta luck) and then maybe have it do something like play an mp3 with the name of the location you've entered. Oh, you'd have to create those mp3's, too.

Heh. There is likely a more elegant solution, just throwing it out there.
posted by Grither at 10:27 AM on July 20, 2012


I know this functionality exists in the app "Car Home Ultra." It's a homescreen designed for use as a car control panel, with a big navigation pane at the top that tells you where you are (street/location and town), what direction you're facing and how fast you're going. If you tap any one of those items, it gets read to you.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:26 AM on July 20, 2012


I've noticed that Bing maps shows the neighborhood you are in, in much more detail than Google Maps.

(At least in the Seattle/Bellevue area, YMMV)
posted by wongcorgi at 11:45 AM on July 20, 2012


The idea would be for this app to display the names of neighborhoods automatically, no map searching required, so that I could at a glance learn where I am while driving.

For this reason, Holy Zarquon's answer is closest to the mark, thus far. It sounds like it does this very thing, and though I've yet to try it, sounds like it would play well with other navigation systems.
posted by lordcorvid at 8:05 AM on July 27, 2012


« Older How much do car companies spen...   |  I don't know where to meet peo... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.