Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Rating the Mapping Services

Since my profession requires me to be a heavy user of online mapping services, I was really interested this recent comparison that TechCrunch ran.

I've been using GoogleMaps for the past year, but I try our Yahoo Maps Beta from time to time. I've heard decent things about Windows Live Local, but haven't had a chance to play around with it yet.

What did they come up with?
Mapquest is the most popular mapping service but lags on features and usability. Google is the most notable and has a ubiquitous API. Windows Live Local dazzles with its creative views and features but falls short of the others in direction functionality. Mapquest offers a number of features but still is missing satellite imagery, which makes it trail the competitors in core functionality. Ask Maps is a worthy competitor but had the highest error rate of the group.

Overall, Yahoo Maps was by far the best application tested. Its fast Flash interface, multipoint directions, live traffic information, and easy send-to-mobile feature make it the hands down winner. It also features the most robust API options.

Looks like I might have to give Yahoo some more run.