GeoCarta Has Moved

Nov 10, 2005

Online Mapping Services Reviewed

Walter S. Mossberg, technology writer for the Wall Street Journal recently reviewed the mapping services of Mapquest, Google Local, and Yahoo Maps, in a recent article.

Mossberg's observations:

These newer sites are free, like MapQuest, but they offer some fancy features, like the ability to pan across a map simply by moving your mouse's cursor, or zooming in or out on a location quickly. Google adds satellite photos of the actual locations, down to the trees in your front yard.

MapQuest looks a little dowdy by comparison to the newcomers, but it works for a lot of folks because it gets people from point A to point B, without any extra fuss. So, we tested these new features from Google and Yahoo to see if they were actually useful, or just a lot of hype that muddied up the direction-retrieval process.

Mossberg's review, which focused on the accuracy and usefulness of driving directions more than anything concluded:

Overall, we concluded that, for the sake of getting where you're going with the most-thorough directions, MapQuest still does the best job, with the most accurate directions. But Yahoo has a multipoint routing feature that's valuable. And, for some, the ability to quickly pan a geographic region on Yahoo and Google -- with satellite photos on the latter -- can familiarize them with the surrounding area and make the drive easier
Of course, regular map blogger will recall that Cartography recently reviewed seven different online map sites.