Navigate Shanghai In Geek Style

This week’s Geek tip will be to navigate the streets of Shanghai — Geek style!  Back in my home country, the USA, my most valued tool was Google Maps. It was the most useful tool for finding any street anywhere in the USA, or for that matter the rest of the world. However, when it came to China, I was lost, because everything is written in Chinese, of course.

No need to worry any more. First go to your trusty tool,  Perhaps you’ll see something like this:


Under location, type in “Shanghai, China” and press enter. Note that the map automatically zooms into the city of Shanghai.


Now, after “Shanghai, China”, type in any address or location. So, for example, type in “Super Brand Mall”. The following shows up:


Note that the road signs are now in English as well as Chinese! It’s much more user-friendly now. You can also view the traffic situation around town. Click on the traffic icon and view the road conditions at that moment in time. Red is congested, green is clear!


As you can see from the above map, Yan’An tunnel is congested going into Puxi but seems clear going back into Pudong. So, if you’re coming in from Puxi, you’ll get to the Super Brand Mall fine, but just have to worry about some traffic on the way back out.

You can even try typing in actual addresses. For example, type in “1 Xizang  South Road”. Google Maps automatically translates the Pinyin input into Chinese and the map of the roads comes up, in both Chinese and English.


So, there’s no more excuses for getting lost in Shanghai. If you are adventuresome, and want to try to find some places yourself, rather than rely on a driver or a taxi, why not give this tip a try and see how much more of Shanghai you can explore by yourself?

2 responses to “Navigate Shanghai In Geek Style

  1. Do you make house calls…lol? My DH has been “setting” up our wireless for quite some time now. I think its time to call in reinforcements!

  2. Another nice feature of google maps is the switch to satellite feature. However, there is a serious bug in that the satellite map is not correctly aligned with the google map. This problem has been around since I arrived in Shanghai in 2009.

    For example, I found the amusement park at People’s square on the google map, and I wanted to see the satellite view. When I clicked on the satellite button, I discovered it had plunked me approximately half a kilometer south east.

    With a bit of scrolling and some intuition, I think I found the amusement park here:,121.469833&sspn=0.003206,0.004694&ie=UTF8&rq=1&ev=zi&split=1&t=h&radius=0.17&hq=huang+pi+nan+lu&hnear=&ll=31.23416,121.468384&spn=0.003206,0.004694&z=18

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