Taking inspiration from Indiana Jones

By | May 27, 2024

When you think of the 1989 cinematic masterpiece that is Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, you probably remember lots of whip-cracking, derring-do and thrilling chases, all set to a very stirring soundtrack by John Williams.

What you may not remember is the bumbling but lovable character of Marcus Brody, a rather hapless archaeology Professor who once “got lost in his own museum”.  I, however, have never forgotten poor old Marcus, because we have one particular trait very much in common… a complete lack of a sense of direction.

I once got stuck in my university’s library for half an hour because I couldn’t find my way back out of the basement archives – I just kept walking round, and round, and round (in my defence, it’s a circular building and the signs aren’t very clear).  And while I can follow a list of instructions e.g. take the next left, then the second right, then keep going until you reach the postbox, I can’t orient myself for toffee.

But why am I mentioning this?  Well, last week I said I’d tell you a really clever tip from when I was away and had no roaming data.  When I first started thinking about it, I was getting very stressed about how I would find my way around the city while I was there.

Then I remembered a feature in my maps app called “Offline Maps”.  This is where you can download a chunk of Google Maps onto your phone, so that you can still navigate around that particular place, even if you aren’t connected to the internet.

It’s pretty straightforward to do – open up either Apple Maps or Google Maps on your phone and type in the name of the place in the search bar at the top.  When it finds the place, you might see a “Download” button right away, in which case, tap on that.

If you don’t see a download button, look for a “More” button (you might have to swipe from right to left on the row of buttons to see it) and tap on that.  Then tap on “Download offline map” to save the map of that particular area to your phone.

You’ll then see a rectangle on the screen, with the place you searched for within it, and you can move the map around inside the rectangle to make sure that it’s covering the whole area that you need.  You can also zoom in or out by pinching your fingers together (to zoom out) or spreading them apart (to zoom in).

It’ll tell you at the bottom how much storage space the downloaded map will take up on your phone.  Once you’re happy, tap on the “Download” button at the bottom of the screen.

Now because these downloads take up space, I wouldn’t suggest doing this everywhere you go – you’d run out of storage on your phone pretty quickly if you tried to download offline maps of the entire world!  Maybe just save it for when you really need it, like when you’re on a quest to find a priceless historical artefact (or a good coffee shop – your choice…).

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