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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Online mapping - quality counts

TechCrunch has a review of online maps. It's not really the most thorough of reviews, but the usage stats are interesting - who knew Yahoo maps was as used as much as Google Maps?

But what the review misses more than anything is the quality of the maps. Windows Live Local, at least in the UK, has far better maps than any of its competitors. Yahoo maps only show major roads. Google maps are distorted and lack detail. Microsoft, however, provide maps of print-atlas quality.

It's also notable that it almost works in in Opera - I expected it to be IE-only. (I wonder if we will see Foldershare get cross-browser compatibility?) However push-pins - and hence directions - don't work.

Windows Live Local offers (at least under IE) some useful sharing features, such as being able to e-mail routes and collections of places of interesting marked with push-pins.

A pity thought that it doesn't seem to recognise UK postcodes nor offer multi-point driving directions.

It always strikes me as odd that with all these giant coporations striving (apparently) to make the best possible product, none of them actually manage to get it right....

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