Being a fan of both Palm and Google, I already know that there is a software called Google Maps for mobile devices, including my Palm Treo.

Google Maps offers maps–of course– as well as real-time traffic details in over 30 major US metropolitan areas and detailed route with step-by-step directions on how to reach a certain location

I thought Google Maps only renders maps and data for locations in the United States. Since I’m in the Philippines and I have no need for US maps, I did not bother downloading it.

But earlier this week, I got excited upon learning from the Fire Eye’d Boy that Google Maps also renders Philippine locations and displays some major roads. Last night, I downloaded and installed it on my Treo 650.

The first location that I saw on Google Maps on my Treo was San Francisco. I showed it to Mhay and she thought it’s San Francisco Del Monte, an area in Quezon City. We later learned it’s actually the city in California where many Filipinos live.

I zoomed out the map and dragged it until it showed other states and countries. When I reached the Philippines, I zoomed in on Marinduque, my province. The map showed only the national road and the names of the six towns. Higher in the map were the southern Luzon provinces and cities. I zoomed in on Quezon City, and it indeed displayed the major roads like EDSA, Quezon Ave, Aurora, and E. Rodriquez.

At present, Google Maps can only be a substitute to the generic Philippine map we generally see in bookstores. It can tell us on which part of the province a certain town can be found and show how the national highways pass through these towns. It also shows the cities and municipalities and some of the bigger roads in the metro. but it cannot help us yet in locating specific establishments or knowing which streets are congested.

Hopefully, these useful functionalities will be available soon.