WE HAVE ON-BOARD maps that guide us to Points of Interest (POIs) and handheld maps that show starred POIs that follow us as we upgrade phones and browsers. Today, I sat down on a POI from 1942, read supporting documentation about the POI (see photo below and my Northern Ireland photoset) and recorded some thoughts about the whole process that I hope will cause my five year old son to retrace my steps when he inherits my POI dataset as part of his family heritage.
WE ARRIVED in Northern Ireland during Parade Season and every fourth town within easy driving distance has a parade on July 12th. While the drums beat, I spent part of a quiet morning looking out at part of the 350 acres that comprised RAF Greencastle, lands surrounding the cottage where we are staying.
AFTER 20 YEARS in Ireland, I'm going to see my first parade in Northern Ireland. I expect to see placards about #remain in view since most of the voters in Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU during the recent Brexit referendum.
We will be near Kilkeel in County Down, enjoying the coastline and sampling local cuisine, including fresh prawns and excellent ice cream. Since data roaming charges will kill my discretionary funds, I don't expect to use my phone while outside the Republic of Ireland. But I am downloading 175 MB of Google Maps for the Kilkeel area along with a wealth of Trip Advisor tips before we leave for the three hour and 22 minute journey north of the border.
THERE WAS A TIME six years ago that I was Mayor of every Irish Rail train leaving Dublin. Today, I'm seated on the Limerick train and headed to Dublin for a walk of The Liberties with two creative multimedia students.
I like carrying familiar friends with me. My mobile broadband comes through a well-worn O2 Hotshot. I really need a 4G MiFi dangle, Santa. My Kindle Voyage let's me fill every 20 minute gap with another deep dive into essential reading to support the creative multimedia curriculum in the Limerick School of Art & Design. And my newest piece of kit is a Zoom H6 that we know will give us excellent soundscapes of Dublin. Expect to hear some of that ambience if you grab Insideview.ie via a podcatcher.>
[Recorded in HiQ MP3 on Xperia and sent via Mail2blog using Typepad while underway in Ireland.]
THE EUROPEAN UNION did a big favour for consumers by imposing limitations on mobile phone roaming costs. I saw the generosity of that favourable treatment when traveling from Ireland to the States for my mother's last days.
I spent 21 days in the States. Because I talked to people in Ireland several times with updates to my mom's condition and funeral arrangements, I paid an average of 14 euro a day in roaming charges. I accept the pain of those charges along with the grief I felt when mom died.
Screenshot from @topgold's Lumia using 4th & Mayor.
THE FOURSQUARE DATABASE has evolved into a handheld concierge for me while wandering Ireland. It consistently offers tips for outdoors activities.
As a long time user, I have kept updating the 4Sq app on iOS, Android and Windows Phone. Each iteration of the app is snappier than the software it replaces and with every month that passes, Foursquare's contextual data becomes more intelligent. This means its lexicon seems to know synonyms for search terms I use.
And in a delightful and perhaps unnerving twist, Foursquare seems to prioritise places nearby based on similar venues I previously designated as pleasant. In my case, I enjoy high quality suggestions for pasta and croissants.
Although I know I am gaming the system, I often use Foursquare to check into places similar to ones located in cities on my travel itinerary. Now when I open the app in new parts of Limerick, Dublin or Galway, my 4Sq handset often suggests perfect plates of pasta surrounded by robust high powered WiFi.
[Screenshot by Bernie Goldbach as part of a social media module taught in the Limerick School of Art & Design.]
I PASS THROUGH County Laois at least twice a month and today I've discovered more about the area than in my previous 15 years in Ireland. I can thank List.ly for part of that.
The List.ly creation shows places recommended by venue managers, community volunteers and heritage experts who operate many of the places I've passed by while driving between Dublin and County Tipperary. My kids would enjoy many of the things I've heard discussed in a County Laois working group and I think the collaborative list elegantly captures these ideas.
I talked about doing this kind of project as I stood under the North Pole today. I'm delighted my plans have unfolded as brilliantly as I had hoped.
BACK IN THE EARLY 80S, I occasionally crossed the Atlantic Ocean 10 times every October. This century, I'm crossing once every five years.
I miss the oceanic travel but know I will never enjoy the legroom and service I once got at the pointy end of the aircraft. My bulkhead seat today on a Boeing 777 was as cold as some copilot seats in the Lockheed C-141. But the US Airways crew wasn't as garrulous.
I packed a lot of electronics to entertain me on the journey and realise now that I have to revert to a dedicated MP3 player to ensure I have at least 20% power on my phone after an eight hour stint in my seat.