Good news: there’s an app that lets you take your maps offline before you go, so finding a dive bar needn’t mean racking up ruinous bills. (Sadly it can’t do anything about your bar tab.)
Not only does Stay.com’s app provide offline maps, you can also make a city guide with friends before you go, thanks to its collaborative feature.
Just choose who to share your map with, and when someone adds a point of interest or recommendation, everyone will see it. So once your city guide is sorted, download it to your phone before you go, and wave goodbye to roaming charges. An entire city only takes about 5MB of space too, so it won’t clutter up your phone.
It’s powered by some very established tech as well. “We use OpenStreetMap, which is an open source alternative to Google Maps,” founder and CEO Joachim Paasche told Electricpig over the phone. “It’s like the Wikipedia of maps. Foursquare uses it too.
“All you do is send a link to friends, and they can access the city guide from there. They suggest places to visit on the map, and they’ll appear for anyone who’s been granted access.
“If you log in to Facebook, it’ll collate all your friends’ check-ins as well, so you can see what people thought of a place even if they’re not coming with you.”
Positive and negative reviews will show up, so you’ll know where to avoid as well.
But the city guide isn’t set in stone once you take it offline. If you stumble upon a new watering hole, just add it to the guide. Then the next time everyone finds a Wi-Fi hotspot and gets online, the map will be updated with anything anyone’s added. And they’ll know where you were all afternoon. So it’s constantly evolving as you find new discoveries.