Monday, July 24, 2006

Map This!

Since the dawn of the internet, mapping services such as MapQuest and Expedia have given users a quick and convenient way of finding their way around unfamiliar places. However, these two classic map services have been overtaken by two newcomers: Google Maps and Yahoo! Local. (Side note: Proof that Yahoo! can't come up with an original name - they borrowed Google Maps' beta name, Google Local.) These two services are both very smooth, easy to use, and AJAX operated, meaning there are no page loads involved. They also both offer satelite imagery, which is very nice for seeing how to enter a parking lot, just where the baseball diamond is located, etc.

Yahoo! Local

Local does an okay job at giving you information and mapping, and includes some nice features such as categories: click on one and a zillion pushpins indicating gas stations or restaurants dot the map. Useful for taking surveys I guess, but not much else.

Yahoo! Local is unpolished and clunky.

Local also includes the ability to have multiple stops on a single route. This is useful for people who have alot of errands to run and don't want to print out a map for each one.

Unfortunately, there are huge load times, and the interface is not very polished. Everything looks cramped, and may be hard to see for older folks ;).

Google Maps

Everywhere that Local disappoints, Maps wows. Rapid response times, a great interface, and easy to use print pages, turn-by-turn directions, and searches makes Maps a winner. The AJAX interface has been fine-tuned for lightning fast info loads, even on slower dial-up connections.

Google Maps sports a clean and simple interface.

A nice toolbar sits along the top with links for printing, emailing to friends, etc. Finding business info, like phone numbers and web addresses, is as easy as typing their name in the box. And searching for (and finding) exactly what you want has never been easier.

There are a few problems however. Finding your way from A to B is simple, but you can't add a C or D. Only a starting piont and an ending point is allowed. There is also a lack of catergories to expand, but this doesn't seem very useful anyway :D.

Edge: Google Maps


Blogger Mr. Levingston said...

well, thats cool... i guess its worth a shot when i learn to drive... xD

Wednesday, July 26, 2006 7:04:00 PM PST  

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