Who knew there were so many versions of Google Maps? There is the full version (has photo tours), and lite, what your browser gives you, and the classic.
Get Google Maps Lite, 3D Or Classic With These URLs, Barry Schwartz, Search Engine Roundtable (Mar 7)
Mobile users – note this – new mapquest app for iOS7 and Android. “Launching today, our new MapQuest mobile app offers a personalized navigation experience that’s both easy-to-use and safe for everyday drivers”
Announcing the New MapQuest Navigation App, Mapquest Blog (Nov 13)
Google Maps has some new features that include photo tours, 3D, and a new pegman for street views. Greg Sterling describes them with screenshots. The Return Of Pegman And Other New Google Maps Features (Search Engine Land, Nov 6)
New guide from MakeUseOf shows how to use Google Maps for travel: decide the itinerary, figure out where to stay, consider transit, and generally explore.
Be Your Own Travel Guide: 7 Tips To Travel Smarter With Google Maps by Ryan Dube, MakeUseOf (Sept 26)
Google Maps provides solutions for all the issues you face when planning a major trip. In this article, I’m going to walk you through the ways you can use Google Maps to plan every aspect of your next big trip, starting with hotel reservations, all the way to predicting the weather, and planning out your transit routes. Once you’re done here, there will be no unfortunate surprises left to ruin your dream vacation.
Yahoo is not completely ignoring maps. It added more information to Yahoo Maps: Flickr images, public transit routing, aerial images, and fresh look.
Surprise: Yahoo Maps Gets A Facelift, New Features, Greg Sterling, Search Engine Land (Sep 25)
Data comes from NAVREQ – now Nokia-Here.
Yahoo Maps has a search nearby feature for US maps (which Google Maps dropped). This is not work in Canada (although there is a link to “find nearby”).
In Toronto we see:
- the Flickr images for photos taken in the area – I live near High Park and get to enjoy many photos.
- Traffic on the main roads.
The aerial / satellite views are good in US maps, but blurry and unuseable in Canada.
Yahoo Maps – view of Toronto
Mapping, Wikipedia style with thousands of contributors, has been building steam. Last January this GiGaom article headlined – With 1M contributors OpenStreetMap claims most detailed maps in some countries. (Jan 28) The maps for England, Russia and Germany may have “greater accuracy” than rivals such as Google Maps”
Steve Coast, who founded OpenStreetMap, has moved to Telenav which has been contributing to OSM for some time. But now it has plans to use OSM data. Kevin Fitchard reported in his article, The Advantages of Crowdsourced Maps (Bloomberg BusinessWeek (Sept 16)) that “ OSM will eventually become the sole map data source for its [Telenav] consumer navigation software, starting with the browser-based version of Scout and then moving to its smartphone apps.”
Telenav is definitely taking a pioneering stance by eschewing paid maps for open-source maps, but it’s safe to say crowdsourcing is delving its way deeply into proprietary maps as well. Every time we switch on Google Maps, Scout, or Here, we’re making their maps better.
What’s going to be particularly interesting to watch is when that crowdsourcing moves out of our phones into the car itself. As vehicles become more connected, they’ll not only be able to contribute to the map; they will also be able to offer up much more information than our smartphones’ current complement of sensors could ever provide.
For Toronto, see this OpenStreetMap for Textile Museum of Canada and area – http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=10/43.7182/-79.3762 – pick a lunch spot for your visit.
Another reason to use Bing Maps – it just added 5 million square miles of aerial views of countries other than United States (except Alaska) and western Europe.
Microsoft adds 5 million square miles of new aerial images to Bing Maps, TNW (Sep 9)
Bing Maps also displays descriptions of places from Wikipedia. Very handy.
Neat little trick that will pull up data from the maps of sites that people have made using Google Maps. BestBizWeb newsletter had this tip.
For example searching Google for site:maps.google.com coal Canada could lead you to this map of British Columbia’s coal production and exports.
Or for site:maps.google.com nuclear plants canada we will find this shocking map – Great Lakes Nuclear Hotspots.
But it’s rather hit and miss – best to be open to the opportunities rather than having a very specific target.
Will uers be impressed by the changes to Google Maps? If it’s to find local businesses – “no” seems to be the answer in this piece – Why the New Google Maps Isn’t a Big Deal for Local Search in Local Visibility System (June 15).
You can search for businesses that are recommended by “Top Reviewers” or by your Google+ circle. What circle, what reviewers? Not enough mass in either. Users may be more wary of signing into personal Google accounts knowing that Google hasn’t been as private as it has claimed.
Bing Maps added images to the to bird’s eye view and the venue maps of specific places. Bing Maps Adds New Bird’s Eye Imagery, Venue Maps & A Report A Problem Feature. If this is supposed to be catchup with Google Maps, it’s not enough.