Tag Archives: Apps for Travelers

Apps for Travelers: Field Trip and Historical Markers

We spent some time in the Portland area a while back and one day we took a delightful walk on the Washington side of the Columbia river.  The city of Vancouver maintains a wonderful paved path for a couple of miles along the river’s edge and we were out for some exercise.  Along the way, we were intrigued by a statue of beautiful woman.  We assumed this statue represented Sacagawea, but, as we admired it, the smartphone in my pocket rang a special alert letting me know that the Field Trip App had some information for me.  Aha!  It was an informational card on this statue.

My Photo Stream2

We were wrong, this wasn’t Sacagawea at all.  The card that popped up on my screen informed us that this was the Ilchee Moon Girl, daughter of Chinook Chief Concomley and, later, wife of  Chief Casinos leader in Vancouver area.  According to the card, the Ilchee Moon Girl had the power of a Shaman and she paddled her own canoe, the sign of a chief.  Cool!

Read Historical Markers while you Drive

Both Jim and I love history and we would love to stop every time we see a road sign that says, “Historical Marker Ahead,” but we find that is near impossible when you’re traveling in a motorhome towing a car.  I have the Historical Marker Database app on our smartphones, but I’ve learned that all of that information is now incorporated in the Field Trip app.  Now, whenever I see the sign “Historical Marker Ahead,” I will also hear that special ring on my phone.  I pick up my phone and look at the notifications to see the Field Trip icon.  With one tap of my finger, I am able to read the complete text of the roadside marker and Jim doesn’t even have to take the rig out of cruise control.  If you are traveling solo, you can set the app to read it to you.  If your rig has a radio with Bluetooth capability, you can hear it thru your radio’s speakers.

Field Trip is a Free App by Google for Android and iPhone

Field Trip app for historical markersAndroid: You can download Field Trip on an Android device with the Play Store.  Just open Play Store and use the Search feature (the magnifying glass icon.)  Type in Field Trip and tap Search or Enter.  You should see binoculars icon and see the Field Trip title and the developer may be listed as nianticlabs@google, or just Google.  It’s free, so all you have to do is tap the install button.

iPhone: On an iPhone, open the App Store and use the search (magnifying glass icon) feature.  Type in Field Trip and tap Search or Enter.  You should see the binoculars icon and a Free button.  Tap the free button and it will convert to ‘Install.’ Tap install.  You will need to know your AppleID password to continue.

iPad: This app is designed for the iPhone.  It will run on the iPad, but you won’t see it listed with iPad apps, you need to select the option to show iPhone apps.  Then you can search for it and install.  If you can’t find it, then use your browser to go to the FieldTripper.com website.  There you will see a button for “Available on the App Store,”  tap that and you will be directed to the install option.

Options: Once you have it installed, take a minute to peruse the different options.  You have your choice of viewing Field Trip by a Map, Nearby points of interest, Recent points of interest, or Favorite points of interest.  Each point is represented by a card.  Tapping on the card icon in the menu bar shows you all the different sources of the various cards and you can choose to see less or more from each source.  The explorer’s hat icon lets you select how often you want notifications of nearby cards, and the gear icon lets you select options like when to read the cards to you and how to notify you of nearby cards.  You can turn off notifications altogether if you don’t want it to be sounding alerts when you’re not on vacation.  However, I left it on and even learned some things about my own hometown!  If battery life is an issue for you, you may want to leave this off more often than not.

Using the Map view, you can browse a destination other than your current location.  Just zoom in on a location until you see the little colored card markers telling you that there is something of interest there.  Tap the marker and read the card.  It’s a virtual tour guide in your pocket.

July 2017 Newsletter: Smartphone Photography, Member: Bill McKibbon, Internet while Traveling

Geeks on Tour

Monthly Issue #116 July, 2017
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Geeks in June

We traveled with a Eurail Pass

For most of June, we were still in Europe: Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, and Berlin. Living out of a small suitcase, and traveling by train was quite enjoyable. Different from RVing, but I think our RV background gave us a good foundation for free-wheeling Europe travels.

The best part of travel is the first-hand education you get. We were prepared to be in awe of the ancient history of the towns, churches, and castles. What was surprising was to realize how new the actual countries are. In the US we think of ourselves as a new country. Our historic buildings are from the 1700s where castles in Italy dated from 400 B.C! But on July 4 the USA celebrates our 241st birthday. The oldest country we traveled thru is Italy, whose current republic was formed in 1946.The others are even newer: Croatia-1991, Slovenia-1991, Germany-1949. See our photo album for more pictures and our  personal travel blog for more stories.
 
We also continue to learn about technology! And, we share it with you on our live weekly class, What Does This Button Do? 

By the way, our pictures, Blogs, Web Albums, maps, and videos are all examples of what we teach.  You can learn how to plan, preserve, and share your travels (or your life.)  It makes the experience that much more enjoyable to get creative and share pictures, maps, stories, and movies with friends and family. Check out our Learning Library of Tutorial Videos, just go toGeeksOnTour.com and click the menu for Tutorial Videos. There are plenty of free videos in addition to our members-only content to whet your appetite for learning.

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‘Ask the Geeks’ Q&A Forum

Here are some of the topics that have been discussed recently. Anyone can read the forum, only members can ask questions. This is a valuable benefit of membership. Join Today!

  1. New Member Help
  2. Uploading Photos in Picasa 3 to the Cloud
  3. Contacts (for GMail, etc.)
  4. Storing Some Google Photos in Win10
  5. Photos.Google.com

Facebook Live Session from Vinkovci, Croatia

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We had hoped to have better Internet connections so we could do our weekly “What Does This Button Do?” show while in Europe, but that didn’t happen.

Surprisingly, the best Wi-Fi we’ve had so far was in the apartment in Vinkovci, Croatia, so we did a little Facebook live session.

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Member Spotlight: Bill McKibbon

Bill McKibbon

By Gail West

A Canadian who is now an ex-pat in Panama, Bill McKibbon has been an “early adopter” of technology and has used it in some very interesting ways since the late 1970’s.  Below is my interview with him which reveals aspects of his adventurous life, his reasons for moving to Panama, and the ways he has used technology and benefited from his membership with the Geeks on Tour.

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Thru the Keyhole … a photography lesson

Thru the keyhole

by Chris Guld
This was written during my
writing retreat in Tuscany. The prompt was: “Thru the keyhole” I wanted to write about my experience taking pictures with a smartphone and making them better.

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I didn’t miss my DSLR camera

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In packing for our month in Europe, I reluctantly left my Canon Digital Rebel T3i behind. See our video where we talked about what we packed to take with us.

I love my Canon, it takes great photos, but, so does my iPhone 7+ and the iPhone is a lot smaller! Besides, I’ve always believed that what makes the most difference in the quality of a photo is a few seconds spent with good editing tools after the photo is taken. I believed that back with Picasa, and I believe it now with Google Photos and Snapseed. I have no ambition to be a professional photographer, that’s a completely different story. I just want to capture my memories and make them nice to look at.

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Internet while Traveling: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

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We’ve been using Internet while traveling for 14 years. Most of that has been traveling by RV in the U.S., but this past month we had some new experiences while traveling in Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, and Germany.

Whether we need to find a campground in Arkansas, or rent a kayak in Venice, an Internet connection makes it possible!

Internet connectivity has improved dramatically since we started. In 2004, the only way to have connectivity while we traveled in our RV was with a $6,000 2-way satellite on the roof (Datastorm) and $115/mo service. Now, there is free Wi-Fi everywhere you go, and cellular Internet service from the likes of Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile can be carried around in your pocket. Cellular costs range from pay-as-you-go $15/mo minimal service from Tracfone, to $80 (+taxes/fees = $100+) per month for Verizon Unlimited.

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My iPhone is full of pictures, can Google Photos help?

Yes! Google Photos can help, but pay attention to your iCloud Photo Library settings

iCloud Photo Library is Apple’s solution for Backup and Sync for all your photos. It works differently than Google Photos Backup and Sync. Using them both will use up more iPhone storage space, and it will get complicated because of the way they handle deletions. With one exception,  I recommend using Google Photos and not iCloud Photo Library. The one exception is if it is important to you that the photos taken with your iPhone get automatically copied to your Mac’s hard drive, then you’ll want to stick with iCloud. With Google Photos, you can view your photos from your Mac (or any computer) by browsing to Photos.Google.com. They are not stored on your computer’s hard drive.

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GeeksOnTour.com Website Tips

We’re updating the website all the time. There are nearly 1,000 articles, 500 videos, and 116 What Does this Button Do Episodes. How do you find what you want? Here are some tips on how to get to the best stuff!
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Happy Computing!

The Geeks on Tour website is an online learning library for Travelers who want to learn to use their computers and mobile devices for managing digital photos, making blogs, using maps and other online resources. Anyone can watch our free videos, read articles on our Computer Tips for Travelers Blog, sign up for our free monthly newsletter. A small fee makes you a ‘member‘ and you can then view any of our 450+ video tutorials on these subjects in our Learning LIbrary.
Geeks on Tour
Sincerely,
Geeks on Tour
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GeeksOnTour.com Website Tips

Geeks on Tour's Website

We’re updating the website all the time. There are nearly 1,000 articles, 500 videos, and 116 What Does this Button Do Episodes. How do you find what you want? Here are some tips on how to get to the best stuff!

  • Finding Articles
  • Finding Videos
  • Finding What Does This Button Do Episodes
  • Surprise Me!

Read More

Click here for more Articles by Geeks on Tour

Join Geeks on Tour!

That’s all for now. We hope you learned something. Your next issue will be next month. Any questions, please visit our forum. If you like this newsletter, please forward it on to your friends! If you received this issue forwarded by a friend you can subscribe to get your own copy delivered to your in box – it’s free. You can also visit the archives of past newsletters,

Happy Computing!

The Geeks on Tour website is an online learning library for Travelers who want to learn to use their computers and mobile devices for managing digital photos, making blogs, using maps and other online resources. Anyone can watch our free videos, read articles on our Computer Tips for Travelers Blog, sign up for our free monthly newsletter. A small fee makes you a ‘member‘ and you can then view any of our 450+ video tutorials on these subjects in our Learning LIbrary.

Geeks on Tour

Sincerely,

Geeks on Tour

jimandchris@geeksontour.com

I didn’t miss my DSLR camera!

In packing for our month in Europe, I reluctantly left my Canon Digital Rebel T3i behind. See our video where we talked about what we packed to take with us.

I love my Canon, it takes great photos, but, so does my iPhone 7+ and the iPhone is a lot smaller! Besides, I’ve always believed that what makes the most difference in the quality of a photo is a few seconds spent with good editing tools after the photo is taken. I believed that back with Picasa, and I believe it now with Google Photos and Snapseed. I have no ambition to be a professional photographer, that’s a completely different story. I just want to capture my memories and make them nice to look at.

We had 4 cameras with us even without the Canon! My phone, an iPhone 7+, Jim’s phone, a Pixel XL, Jim’s Samsung Camera 2, and Jim’s GoPro video camera. I enjoyed having only one camera, no decisions to make about which one to use, just learn all I could about using the iPhone. The only time I even thought about my Canon was when we were on a train or a boat. It is so much faster to grab the Canon, put it to your eye, twist the lens to zoom in and snap. That can all be accomplished in one smooth motion, 3 seconds top. With the phone, there is always a lot of fumbling to get to the right screen, squinting to see the image on the screen before snapping, and changing your grip to be able to snap the picture. I’m sure I missed a few good shots because I was too slow, but I still got plenty of nice photos. Here are a few, with notes. Many of these would not be possible with the SLR – e.g. in-camera Panoramas, selfies, animated gifs. See lots more (445 to be exact!) in our Album.

1. Duomo in Florence, Italy

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iPhone 7+, Google Photos crop, auto, pop

2. Water lily in gardens at Florence, Italy

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iPhone 7+, Snapseed HDR-Scape filter

3. Castiglion Fiorentino, Tuscany Italy

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Pixel XL – panorama with a run-around-behind subject Smile

4. Begonias on our terrace at El Santucce

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iPhone 7+ using Portrait mode

5. Assisi

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iPhone 7+ Snapseed HDR-scape, text added with Snapseed

6. St. Mark’s Square in Venice, Italy at night

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iPhone 7+ – selfie (front lens) so good at night exposure. no editing other than crop

7. Venice

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Samsung Camera 2 – panorama with Google Photos Pop

8. Kayaking on the Grand Canal in Venice

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iPhone 7+ on a selfie stick

9. Jim at Miramare castle, Trieste Italy

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iPhone 7+ using Portrait mode

10. Boat ride in Ljubljana, Slovenia

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iPhone 7+ Edited in Snapseed, HDR-scape filter, Text added

11. Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

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iPhone 7+ Live Photo, converted to animated gif with Motion Stills app

12. Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

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Samsung Camera 2 on Waterfall setting!

 

Smartphone Photography Workshops

We will be teaching 2 sessions of our Smartphone Photography workshops at
the FMCA Convention in Indianapolis next week. If you’ll be there, come find
us in the Info center and sign up!

Thursday July 13, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

Friday July 14, 2017