Hein (fub) wrote,
Hein
fub

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Location in Japan

As most of you will know, we'll be going to Japan for a vacation mid-October. We have the itinerary all planned out, and we'll be visiting Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. Obviously, I wanted to check out the locations of our hotels through Google Maps, to see where we are, where the train stations are, and if there are any FON spots and/or geocaches nearby.

Finding a specific location in Japan on online maps is a bit of a problem. Google Maps is the only map provider that has Japese maps in any usable resolution, but all the text is in Japanese. Coupled with the fact that Japan doesn't have streetnames (most hotels give their location based on a map), and it is impossible to find those spots on the map. Typing in the name of the hotel or ryokan might work, if the hotel bought Google Ads or someone put a placemark there. But if all else fails (our Ryokan in Osaka is named 'Toraya', which is a really common name in Osaka), you can try searching for the telephone number.

Center the location you're interested in on your Google Map screen, and select the option 'Link' in the right-top corner of the map screen. Copy the link provided for email and IM. It will be in the format of

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=[query]&ie=UTF8&t=h&ll=X,Y&spn=0.001565,0.002411&z=19&iwloc=A

X and Y are the latitude and the longitude, in decimal format!

Now that you have the location, you can 'plug' those into the FON maps by using the URL
http://maps.fon.com/?lt=X&ln=Y&zm=16
and you can get the Geocaching maps by using

http://www.geocaching.com/map/default.aspx?lat=X&lng=Y

For those of you playing along at home, here's the list of our hotels and their locations:
The B Akasaka, Tokyo: 35.671365,139.732839
Yuhara Inn, Kyoto: 34.991912,135.76488
Toraya Inn, Osaka: 34.712267,135.509791

Tags: google, gps, japan, tools
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