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Google Launches Mapping Service

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the wherefore-art-thou-peggy-marfori? dept.

Google 889

Alex Reynolds writes "The beta version of Google Maps is now online, offering an alternative to Mapquest with what some might describe as a very much improved user interface, offering a cleaner layout, drop shadows, clickable waypoints and keyboard controls that allow you to move and zoom the map. For IE and Firefox/Mozilla at this point (no Safari or Opera support, as yet)."

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404 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11605252)

FAIL OH FAIL T4C
Heil hitler

It's all coming together now. (5, Interesting)

bigtallmofo (695287) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605253)

GoogleMaps + AdSense + Google Local = Massive profits for Google and a fantastic customer experience.

I knew the folks at Google were smart, but...

You can drag the map ! (5, Informative)

pepax (748182) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605287)

You can actually drag the map with your mouse to move the part that's being displayed. Way cool!

Google will never stop... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11605258)

They seem to have the directions to take on Microsoft

Re:Google will never stop... (4, Funny)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605320)

Yea but they will never catch them if you use Microsoft Directions they will bring you to i90 North!!!! Well it seems they may have fixed it, but I remember when Microsoft bought out map-blast (my old favorite) I remember getting quite loss with their directions with them telling me to to take an even Interstate North (All even interstate goes East and West) and on the side roads they told me to go East when I needed to go west. And they for the longest time decided not to give Exit Numbers! But I just checked it out it seems that it was corrected.

Re:Google will never stop... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11605396)

Thats nothing. Try this on for size:
I don't know how long it will be before someone at MSN notices that a whole lot of people are interested in this trip; this has appeared on many newsgroups already.

  1. http://mappoint.msn.com/DirectionsFind.aspx
  2. Plan a trip from Haugesund, Norway to Trondheim, Norway
  3. Laugh
Shamelessly quoted from an ASR posting.

Re:Google will never stop... (0, Offtopic)

essreenim (647659) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605325)

Yeah, maybe they will find a way to introduce Googlex - the competitor to MS Windows

Re:Google will never stop... (3, Funny)

Hogwash McFly (678207) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605335)

Yes, Google will soon become a search engine legend, after topping the chart for a long time. They have the key to success, let's hope they can scale this service up so we can all feel that feeling of elevation, like the one I got from playing The Silent Cartographer in Halo for the first time. This is a true landmark in search engine technology. I feel so giddy with excitement that I'm losing my orientation! I need the contours of a hot woman to offer me some relief!

Pizza (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11605259)

I bursting! I just ate three pizzas!

Forget IE/Firefox etc... (5, Insightful)

Goose In Orbit (199293) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605260)

What about the rest of the planet?

Re:Forget IE/Firefox etc... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11605278)

You mean the people in 3rd world countries without web browsers or even computers?

Oh, well... Google's giving them the shaft...

My country doesn't exist! (1)

Burb (620144) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605292)

This is US isolationism taken to extremes! OK, they do allow Canada to exist.

Re:Forget IE/Firefox etc... (4, Informative)

MaestroSartori (146297) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605295)

Those of us outside the US can sometimes get good map stuff from http://www.multimap.com [multimap.com]

Better than this US-only shit, even if it doesn't cover everywhere at least its slightly more ambitious in its scope...

Re:Forget IE/Firefox etc... (1)

^switch (65845) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605359)

There is also http://www.maporama.com/ [maporama.com]. It has an impressive list of countries, and large (selectable size) maps.

The accuracy appears to differ depending on the country.
However, I've been using it for Australia and find it more accurate than any alternative I know of.

Re:Forget IE/Firefox etc... (5, Insightful)

huge colin (528073) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605392)

"Better than this US-only shit..."

<sarcasm>
Yes, I'm sure the maps are US-only for awful, vindictive reasons, and not because of simple economics.
</sarcasm>

Grow up.

Re:Forget IE/Firefox etc... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11605302)

That's the first thing I thought. It showed a map of the USA, so I tried scrolling right, only to find that the USA really is the whole world. Imagine my surprise! I owe a lot of Americans apologies for daring to doubt them.

Re:Forget IE/Firefox etc... (2, Funny)

imr (106517) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605330)

well, they will have to put some kind of extension for irak and the tiny island state in Europe, what's its name already?

Re:Forget IE/Firefox etc... (5, Insightful)

DarkSarin (651985) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605375)

don't forget about Israel.

Sorry folks, though, I just DON'T have much sympathy on this point. Here's why: the US has a NUMBER of mapping services, and extensive maps available at this time. Although very us-centric, Google knows their audience, and will probably put maps for other parts of the world on localized versions of the site (eg, maps.google.co.uk or mapas.google.pt). That would make much more sense than trying to give a map for the entire world on a single page.

Second, this is still only BETA. It is GOOD, but it is only BETA. Expect additional countries to surface as it approaches full utility.

Finally, Google IS a US-based country. It wouldn't make much sense for them to start with Ethopia, now would it? Should they have included Canada or Mexico? Perhaps, but what they have is pretty impressive as it is. Give them TIME.

There's a limit (1)

wiredog (43288) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605315)

to how much data they can hold on a few thousand servers. They have street level resoluton across the entire US, which is probably a terabyte, or several, of data. And high speed access to that data.

Re:There's a limit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11605353)

They have street level resoluton across the entire US, which is probably a terabyte, or several, of data.

I think you're a little bit off on this estimate. Microsoft Streets and Trips has street level resolution of all of north america, and its only about 900 mb.

Re:There's a limit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11605363)

I have software that gives me street level resolution across all of North America and it fits on two CDs. There is nothing near a terabyte of data here.

Works in K-Meleon 0.8.2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11605369)

Works in K-Meleon 0.8.2, so it should also work in K-Meleon 0.9 [sourceforge.net].

Of course, K-Meleon is Gecko-based, just like Camino [mozilla.org] for Mac OS X.

Homewrecker (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11605262)

My Uncle Edna killed hogs. He came home from the slaughterhouse every day smelling of shit and pig blood, and if I didn't have his bath drawn with plenty of perfume and bubble stuff, he'd whup my ass until I felt his hard-on poking me in the leg.

"Homewrecker!" he'd shriek, pounding his fist on the table and rattling the stack of rhinestone bracelets he wore on his skinny arm. "How could he want her when he had me? How could he do it, boy?"

And you had to wonder, because even with his lipstick smeared and his chest hair poking out of his gown, there was a certain tired glamour to Uncle Edna. Thing was, the bitch hadn't even wanted his man. Uncle Jude, who'd been with Uncle Edna since he was just plain old Ed Slopes, had all of a sudden turned het and gone slobbering off after a henna-headed barfly who called herself Tina. What Tina considered a night's amusement, Uncle Jude decided was the grand passion of his life. And that was the last we saw of him. We never could understand it.

Uncle Edna was 36 when Uncle Jude left. The years and the whiskey rode him hard after that, but the man knew how to do his makeup, and I thought Uncle Jude would fall back in love with him if they could just see each other again.

I couldn't do anything about it, though, and back then I was more interested in catching frogs and snakes than in the affairs of grown-ups' hearts. But a few years later, I heard Tina was back in town.

I knew I couldn't let Uncle Edna find out. He'd want to get out his shotgun and go after her, and then he'd get cornholed to death in jail and who'd take care of me? So I talked to a certain kid at school. He made me suck his dick out behind the cafeteria, but I came home with four Xanax. I ground them up and put them in Uncle Edna's bottle of J.D. that same night. Pretty soon he was snoring like a chainsaw and drooling on his party dress. I went out to look for Tina. I didn't especially want to see her, but I thought maybe I could find out where she'd last seen Uncle Jude.

I parked my bike across the street from the only bar in town, the Silky Q. Inside, the men stood or danced in pairs. A few wore drag, but most were in jeans and flannels; this was a working man's town.

Then I saw her. She'd slid her meaty ass into a booth and was cuddled up to one of the men in it. The other man sat glaring at her, nearly in tears. I recognized them as Bob and Jim Frenchette, a couple who'd been married as long as I could remember. Tina's red-nailed hand was on Bob's thigh, stroking the worn denim.

I walked up to the table.

Jim and Bob were too far gone to pay me any mind. Tina didn't seem to recognize me. I'd been a little kid when she saw me last, and she'd hardly noticed me then, bent as she was on sucking Uncle Jude's neck. I stared into her light blue eyes. Her lashes were clumped with black mascara, her lids frosted with turquoise shadow. Her mouth was a lipstick wound. Her lips twitched in a scornful smile, then parted.

"What you want, boy?"

I couldn't think of anything to say. I didn't know what I had meant to do. I stumbled away from the table. My hands were trembling and my cheeks flaming. I was outside, unchaining my bike from the lamppost, when Tina came out of the bar.

She crossed the deserted street, pinning me where I stood with those wolf-pale eyes. I wanted to jump on my bike and speed away, or just run, but I couldn't. I wanted to look away from those slippery red lips that glistened like hog grease. But I couldn't.

"Your uncle..." she whispered. "Jules, wasn't it?"

I shook my head, but Tina kept smiling and bending closer until her lips were right against my ear.

"He was a lousy fuck," she said.

Her sharp red nails bit into my shoulder. She pushed me back against the lamppost and sank to her knees in front of me. I felt hot bile rising in my throat, but I couldn't move, even when her other hand undid my pants.

I tried to keep my dick from getting hard, I truly did. But it was like her mouth sucked the blood into it, right to the surface of the skin. I thought she might tear it out by the roots. Her tongue slithered over my balls, into my peehole. There came a sharp stinging at the base of my dick, unlike anything I'd felt when other boys sucked it. Then I was shooting my jizz into her mouth, much as I didn't want to, and she was swallowing it like she'd been starved.

Tina wiped her mouth and laughed. Then she stood, turned, and walked back to the bar like I wasn't even there. The door closed behind her, and I fell to my knees and puked until my throat was raw. But even as the rancid taste of half-digested food filled my mouth and nose, I could feel my dick getting hard again.

I had to whack off before I could get on my bike. As I came on the sidewalk, I imagined those fat shiny lips closing around me again, and I started to cry. I couldn't get the nasty thoughts out of my head, things I'd never thought about before: the smell of dank sea coves and fish markets, the soft squish of a body encased in a layer of fat, with big floppy globes of it stuck on the chest and rear like cancers. And the thoughts were like a cancer in me.

As fast as my feet could pedal, I rode home to Uncle Edna. But I had a feeling I could never really go home again.

World Beta (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11605265)

Will have to stick with MapQuest until Google finds out that the rest of the world exists though...

Re:World Beta (1)

mordors9 (665662) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605408)

It all comes down to money. Google isn't going to go to the expense of providing maps for people in unless someone is willing to pay for ads or in some way to provide revenue to Google for doing so.

And its only beta! (3, Informative)

thewldisntenuff (778302) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605268)

I gave it a run.....Definitely better than mapquest....Map moves smoothly, instead of having to click and wait for a reload. Nicer interface....

But how does it work?

-thewldisntenuff

Re:And its only beta! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11605281)

...its pure magic...along with their lovely gmail

Re:And its only beta! (5, Insightful)

Donatas (803107) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605321)

they achieve this by using XMLHttpRequest to make requests to the server and get back results via JavaScript. That's why dragging works so great... they do requests to get IDs of new images to show an dthen they start opening them.

Re:And its only beta! (1)

my_haz (840523) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605344)

I don't think its that complicated an application in a techinal sense i would guess most of the R&D resources went into researching useablity and modeling.

What I would like to see, besides of course mapping the rest of the world, is a feature to click on metro areas and get a map.

What would be really nice is if google let some wifigeeks do a few custom maps. )(

Re:And its only beta! (1)

buro9 (633210) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605346)

Javascript yet again.

Very very cool stuff too.

I can't wait for the dissection of that stuff ;)

Directions are acceptable -- but not optimized (1)

rjune (123157) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605419)

I ran a few maps and the results were acceptable in that the routes are workable and can be followed. However, someone who is familiar with the streets would take a different route. In my example, Google exited me off the freeway one earlier than anyone who knew the area at all would have used. However, I have used Mapquest and found a lot of errors, especially in the distances. Yahoo maps are all right, but they aren't all that clear. I like the map display in Google much better. So, I don't care if this is a Beta release, I going to use this for when I need directions. (Which is fairly frequently as my job entails visiting various locations all over the State.)

Article Text Without FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11605269)

Amazing advance in technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11605270)

Drop shadows eh? Wow, marvellous.

US Only at the moment. (1, Interesting)

minioak (681880) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605271)

Any word on if / when this service will include non-US maps?

Re:US Only at the moment. (2, Funny)

sosume (680416) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605282)

Dude, I was thinking, like, wow, that's one big ocean!!! I kept scrolling and scrolling in hope to find Europe, must be what Columbus felt like when sailing to America... ;) Are you sure Europe isn't somewhere on that map??

Re:US Only at the moment. (1, Informative)

Gallowsgod (766508) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605288)

It already does. Goto maps and choose a country.

Re:US Only at the moment. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11605347)

Care the explain what the hell you're talking about? What exactly does "Goto maps" mean, and where would one "choose a country."?

Re:US Only at the moment. (1)

sosume (680416) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605352)

Hm, I searched for "Germany', 'Amsterdam' and 'Paris' and all three seem to be located somewhere in Kansas ... strange .. (cue: twilight zone melody)

Re:US Only at the moment. (2, Funny)

mst (30456) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605372)

It does? I clicked "maps" and entered "Sweden" into the search box and was informed (by a set of red baloons) that I live somewhere between Tulsa and Kansas City, not in northern Europe as I've always believed.

Come to think of it, this could explain the unusually warm winters we've had in Sweden lately.

Re:US Only at the moment. (1)

pedestrian crossing (802349) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605377)

Huh? Maybe I'm too dense to figure out the interface, but I wasn't able to "choose a country". Informative? I don't think so....

Pretty nice... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11605276)

But I tried searching for my hometown, and it didn't even reply! I had to search for New York and scroll to the right a little bit. But I really like the size of the map and the "fast scroll" it has... It's definitely faster than Mapquest, and works great with a good broadband connection.

Incredible (4, Insightful)

HeghmoH (13204) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605279)

This may be the most impressive web application I have ever seen. It performs like a local application, incredibly fast and smooth, but it's all coming over the internet and displaying in my web browser. I can browse around the country like I was playing with a photograph! The lack of Safari support is too bad, but they say it's coming soon.

No, I have nothing constructive to add, just... wow!

Re:Incredible (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605327)

I agree, no plugins or annoying web crap needed.
Exactly as you expect from google.
Clean and simple.

Except for the rather massive restriction of having USA only (I'm European) its impressive.

Re:Incredible - if only it used open standards (1)

ianturton (655126) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605354)

The Open GeoSpatial Consortium [opengis.org] has worked hard to develop open interopeability standards to do this sort of thing. The web map server standard is even an ISO standard. But no google had to do thier own thing so I have another mapping application to learn. That may not seem a big thing to you but as a geographer I already have to use 10-15 diferent mapping tools.

If you want to see open web mapping standards in action (and maps of the whole world) try here [cubewerx.com] or look at some of NASA's data here [digitalearth.gov]

Ian

Clumsy and butt-ugly (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11605389)

As usual, the standard is clumsy and ugly.

No thanks. I prefer Google's version.

Re:Incredible - if only it used open standards (1)

Seth Finklestein (582901) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605406)

After Google makes a zillion dollars off its mapping tool, perhaps you will realize how little "open standards" matter.

Hey, I hear GNU/Map is starting. Quick, get in on the ground floor! Someone might develop a front-end in emacs by the year 2015!

800lb gorilla (1)

toddlg (319712) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605286)

Google is going to become the next Microsoft.

One of these days (if they haven't already) they'll roll out "GOffice" and "GMoney" and "GOS"

All you'll need is a 'puter, get a GOS CD and broadband connection... good to go.

Re:800lb gorilla (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11605340)

GMoney - Sponsored by 50 'Cent

Nice... (3, Interesting)

sH4RD (749216) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605291)

As said before, yes, it only seems to work in IE/Firefox (which is a shame). But, it is still easily the best map experience I have ever had. Being able to just type parts of an address into a bar instead of seperate boxes is disorganized, but quick and easy. And the balloon popup for current location is useful. The vector graphics are great, and scale to monitor resolution. I just wish NAVTEQ would add topographic information (for that matter, why does NAVTEQ do everyone's maps?). The zoom scale is much better than others, since it is live and smooth scaling. However, overall, the system doesn't seem like it would transfer to print well. I suppose the only way to find out is to try it.

Re:Nice... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11605351)

The vector graphics are great

Er... what vector graphics would those be?

wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11605293)

nice job on the interface google

Holy god jesus YES! (1)

BlueTooth (102363) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605297)

Finally an online mapping application that gives us a BIG window...if they could get good vector based printing to work, they could do away with those multi-cd desktop mapping apps.

spectacular UI... and up-to-date (4, Interesting)

path_man (610677) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605301)

Very nice interface, and certainly less cluttered than maps.yahoo.com or mapquest.

But best of all -- my new subdivision is on the map whereas it's absent on all the other free map services that the pizza guy, furniture stores, and other delivery folks keep trying to use because they've never heard of my street before.

Google's "DO NO EVIL" company value really shows in this excellent service.

They forgot Poland ! (1)

CineK (55517) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605303)

Again! no, really - it's 16 years since the communist era officially ended in this part of Europe, and you still can't get good standard mapping software :(

no TomTom for us, either :(

and its allmost xhtml compliant (2, Informative)

Val314 (219766) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605305)

just 1 (small) error
http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=http://ma ps.goog le.com/

and it has a doctype ;)

Re:and its allmost xhtml compliant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11605407)

That's what irks me. If it's one small error, then they were probably trying to write valid code. But since the one small error got through, this means they don't have an effective QA process in place.

And the one small error? Trying to use a Microsoft XML namespace in an XHTML 1.0 document. Not only are external namespaces not permitted in XHTML 1.0, but it won't be treated as XHTML anyway because they are serving it as text/html.

[tt] and it supports most of Canada (1)

Porn Whitelist (838671) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605309)

Well, it's got Halifax, Quebec City, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, and Vancouver - and they NUKED OTTAWA (Canada's capital) from the main map - Yay Google!. Now why couldn't they have done that a few years ago?

Not a single province listed, but that's okay, 3/4 of the population lives in or around those 9 cities. As the feds have been saying for years, "fuck the provinces".

Apprarently not Halifax though (yet) (1)

ClassicG (138845) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605409)

Actually, it seems that Halifax isn't quite all there after all. I tried zooming in, and once you go in past the first couple levels, most of Nova Scotia disappears. Some of it is still there - the western half of the area west of Halifax is available at all zoom levels, but it seems they don't have the close-in data for anything east of that.

Oh well, it's still an extremely impressive interface (like somebody else mentioned, one of the best web apps ever), and hopefully they'll expand the range of the available data soon.

Time to short Google? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11605313)

Time to short google? [yahoo.com]

That valuation has remained pretty rich for a while. Their products are easy to reverse engineer. Is the brand worth it? What more "innovation" can they provide?

Map24.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11605317)

map24.com [slashdot.org] is Europe-only. However it seems to be much faster then the US-only maps.google.com.

Dropshadows?! (5, Funny)

kuzb (724081) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605319)

[..]offering a cleaner layout, drop shadows, clickable waypoints and keyboard controls that allow you to move and zoom the map.

Jesus! They have drop shadows! Sign me up#@!

Centre of the world?! (1)

medraut (136992) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605322)

Once again it seems that our brothers in the US of A have forgotten that they are not the only country in the world...

Admittedly it is in Beta, here's hoping for maybe a bit of Europe and Africa. Who knows, maybe one day they'll discover Asia! Let us not forget Australia and Greenland?! And I'm sure the penguins in Antarctica would appreciate being able to find a Pizza Hut. Oh yes, and the big green continent known as South America.

Medraut

Maps24.com... (3, Interesting)

Glove d'OJ (227281) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605323)

This looks very much like maps24.com... their application was java-based, and this appears to be browser-based / scripted.

Maps24.com won a Webby [webbyawards.com] in 2004.

The click and drag for map movement rocks.

Konqueror isn't supported yet (3, Informative)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605332)

Your browser is not supported by Google Maps just yet. We currently support the following browsers:

IE 5.5+ (download: Windows)
Firefox 0.8+ (download: Windows Mac Linux)
Netscape 7.1+ (download: Windows Mac Linux)
Mozilla 1.4+ (download: Windows Mac Linux)

We are working on supporting Safari. Regardless of your browser type, you must have JavaScript enabled to use Google Maps.

We recommend you download one of the browsers above, or you can try to load Google Maps in your current browser.

Re:Konqueror isn't supported yet (2, Informative)

jisatsusha (755173) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605402)

I'm pretty sure once Safari is supported, Konqueror will be too, don't they use the same rendering engine?

Waypoints? (1)

HeelToe (615905) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605333)

Being a Mac OS X, Linux, and FreeBSD user, I want for decent trip planning solutions - unfortunately, I haven't found any.

Adding waypoint support to web-based trip planning software has been high on my list for all of the available services, so I was excited to see this listed for maps.google.com.

Unfortunately, I can't find how to do this even after perusing their help.

Has anyone figured out how?

Thanks!

Old news mappy has all this and better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11605334)

Including dragging the map and being responsive.

http://www.mappy.com [mappy.com]

O yes, it's Europe only. Must be why this is spectacular news for our American friends... :)

Features I would like. (4, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605349)

Shorest Distance.
Avoid Highways
Use Highways
Fastest Time
Least number of turns (most direct route).
Avoid Cities
As well the ability to change your route on the map. Say you know that you cant take this road because of traffic today so you need an alternate route.

I think those would be useful features for any map program. At best I have only seen some of them parttilly implemented.

Repeat after me... (from mail I sent to friends) (5, Informative)

Spoing (152917) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605355)

'Google kicks all types of ass;

maps.google.com [google.com]

Here's the kicker;

* They used DHTML and Javascript

* They did _not_ use Flash

Go take a look and consider that...

* No need to use the on-screen arrows to move around

* Left click and hold can be used to drag the map

* The arrow keys and other keys on your keyboard also work (PgUp, PgDn, +, -, ...)

While the useful part of the map is limited to the 50 US States, Puerto Rico, and the populated areas of Canada, it does not have local boarders (drag from Alaska or Hawaii to Florida or the Canadian wilderness if you want). Zoom all the way in before you think they left something out. It looks to be complete.

* The vector-generated maps are very readable when printed

* It uses Google's Local search; if you haven't tried that, give it a whirl (example: Choose a location on the main page, click Local when the location appears, and punch in "pizza" or "atms". Not perfect; "beer" and "pub" don't work so well, though oddly "brew" returns some good results. :( )'

Re:Repeat after me... (from mail I sent to friends (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11605418)

* They used DHTML and Javascript

* They did _not_ use Flash


* They did _not_ write cross browser code.

* No need to use the on-screen arrows to move around

Yeah, also...

* No need to look outside a country, since no other exist.

The world according to Google (2, Funny)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605356)

1. only one continent
2. Canada is empty (OK, not too far off)
3. The center of the world is Coffeyville, Kansas
4. Nice choice of map - see the distortion at the top. That's one thing you should be able to avoid online.

Good thing it's a beta, then...

Re:The world according to Google (1)

Spoing (152917) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605399)

  1. 2. Canada is empty (OK, not too far off)

Canada _is_mostly_ empty. If you know where a road runs, zoom in. You won't see it on the map unless you get close enough. Large areas of Peurto Rico are like that too, let alone the midwest.

How interesting. (1)

theirpuppet (133526) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605357)


Go west and you'll just find the pacific.
Go east and you'll just find the atlantic.

The US _is_ the center of the universe. Bush was right all along.

having worked with gis software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11605360)

I really like the tile approach google is using. Rather than send 1 large file, they've designed their rendering software to take a picture and break it up into tiles. pretty sweet. it's not a new idea, but the way they've implemented it much nicer than my own attempts a few years back using mapquest.

Missing save feature (3, Interesting)

jvj24601 (178471) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605364)

I never use Mapquest. I use maps.yahoo.com, and when I login with my yahoo id (started using it for mail, now I just use it for everything but mail because gmail rocks), I am able to name and save specific locations. So now I have all of my son's soccer and basketball game locations available for instant lookup.

When Google Maps gets this feature and allows me to save locations linked to my gmail account, I'll switch over. The new interface in Google Maps is cool, but Yahoo maps (and Mapquest, I suspect) is good enough - especially for simply printout out map and driving directions.

Speaking of Google launches... (1)

museumpeace (735109) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605367)

How many of you noticed that your allotment of Gmail invites jumped up to 50 from 6 the night before last? Is Google getting ready to take gmail out of beta?

This map thing kinda makes up for them charging $30 for Keyhole [keyhole.com]

map24 is much better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11605368)

Try map24.com [map24.com]. Their java applet kicks googles ass. And they have the US and Europe.

What would really be killer.... (2, Interesting)

PornMaster (749461) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605376)

Is if this worked on my Treo 300.

The maps look so much cleaner than others I've seen, and might actually be somewhat understandable on the small screen. I really think it would be amazing if combined with Google Local, I could put in an address in New York, and "pizza" and have a map with the nearest pizza joint.

Pretty Good (1)

TheVampire (686474) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605379)

Liked the interface and the speed. However, checking my local area turned up some errors in road names, a missing lake, and a town shown with a name that disappeared about 15 years ago when it was swallowed up and incorporated into a larger town nearby.

Ditto the comments that we want other countries included. I'd like to see Japan, for one. And I'd like to get topo maps as an option. Yeah, I know I can get topo maps from terraserver, but it's only the USA as well.

This is awesome. (4, Insightful)

DamienNightbane (768702) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605382)

I love the fact that the map loads nearly as fast as I can scroll. It's size is really nice too. Even better, the route marker it puts on the map when it gives directions isn't in the way, like it is on Mapquest.

Add to that the wonderful UI, and I think that Google has a real winner here.

By the way, all of you complaining that the map is USA only should note that this is only a beta. Chances are that when the full version is released, it will cover as much, or more, of the world than Mapquest.

Love the UI (1)

yelohbird (658476) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605390)

Sure, it's still rough on the edges (text and textbox inputs on the right are overlapping the map image), but it's amazing improvement over the others, and decent for a beta release.

First and foremost, I find the click-and-drag function on the map so much more appealing than the "click north" of mapquest and yahoo maps. Many minor yet significant factors like clearer indication of highway on/off ramps (mapquest doesn't even have ramps), actual width dimensions of the roads (as opposed to thick/thin lines), more pleasant color schemes (less contrast...mapquest's red highways hurt the eyes!), and very smooth integration with Google Local.

The directions seem to work well, and I think the most important improvement in the directions is the ability to zoom and pan in to any portion of the route to see it clearer (as opposed to the standard origin and destination zoomed maps provided by competitors

Google Maps has just won over the heart of one more customer!

Awesome! (1)

sfontain (842406) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605397)

I just ran some maps through here and it's great! It is TONS easier to soak up the lay of the land than in MapQuest.

Other Differences From Mapquest... (5, Interesting)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605410)

1) They won't take you the wrong way down one-way streets.

2) They will get you to your destination instead of 95% of the way there.

Except locations are sometimes wrong (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 9 years ago | (#11605416)

Do a hotels near DCA serach - it shows the Sheraton north of teh Marriott Crystal Gateway, it is actually a block or so south - I think they reversed the pushpins
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