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Mapping Google Maps

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the topography dept.

Google 442

jgwebber writes "Google Maps is starting to cause a bit of a stir as Google makes the browser do still more backflips than most expected. In the tradition of dissecting Google Suggest and GMail, I've done a little dissecting of this newest service."

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what about plotting waypoints on the map? (5, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621070)

What I would like to see them add is something like what GPSVisualizer [gpsvisualizer.com] does. It will allow you to upload a GPX or LOC file of waypoints (from your GPS or various other programs) and plot them on a map. Because GPSVisualizer requires the SVG plugin (or native support) it would be nice to have an advanced application like Google has that doesn't require such support yet is as smooth/speedy as Google Maps is.

It would be awesome if Google could completely take over the commercial mapping software application market (ie Streets and Trips/Mappoint and Street Atlas) by enabling routing/directions between the points on the map. Hell, allow us to then download the planned route back to the GPSs via a GPX and that would really rock. I mean web-based applications such as maps.google.com and maps.yahoo.com have already taken over from older programs like Automap which just gave text directions and simple maps. Why can't they add even more features? I don't know anyone that asks for directions anymore. Everyone just uses the web-based software.

For now I'm just happy being impressed by the pretty scrolling. I'm excited to see what comes of this after the finish up the Beta.

Old info (1)

suprchunk (782952) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621109)

Pretty neat, but the info they have on some of that stuff is pretty dated.

Re:Old info (3, Informative)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621242)

It fairly successfully mapped Folsom, CA to Wilsey, KS which is not on many maps. It even has the friggen farm roads in it's database!

I love how you can clock on a waypoint in the directions and it pops up a bubble window in the main map with a closeup detail!
-nB

Re:what about plotting waypoints on the map? (4, Interesting)

Moby Cock (771358) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621126)

Remember that Google purchased Keyhole a while back. They are a satellite imaging firm. I wonder (or hope) that somehow this technology could be merged with the excellent Google maps. Imagine a "See Photo" button once you have found the location of whatever it was you were looking for. Now that would be cool.

Re:what about plotting waypoints on the map? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11621143)

Have you tried usaphotomaps from JDMCOX [jdmcox.com] ?

USAPhotoMaps downloads aerial photo and topo map data from Microsoft's free TerraServer Web site, saves it on your hard drive, and creates seamless maps from it. You can:
1. See the latitude/longitude
2. Add waypoints, routes, and text
3. Jump to any waypoint or latitude/longitude in the U.S.A.
4. Transfer waypoints, tracks, and routes to and from most GPS receivers
5. See your GPS location
6. Scroll and zoom

And it's free.

Re:what about plotting waypoints on the map? (2, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621145)

It would be awesome if Google could completely take over the commercial mapping software application market (ie Streets and Trips/Mappoint and Street Atlas) by enabling routing/directions between the points on the map. Hell, allow us to then download the planned route back to the GPSs via a GPX and that would really rock.

While I've fiddled with it and found the interface to have it's up-sides and down-sides (not really very big considering it's a web app.) I think you're looking for functionality at a whole other level, i.e. competing with Delorme or such, which could prove a challenge. I've got the Delorme package on my PC at home and the volume of information its processing to produce things would kill Google's servers. Besides, Delorme is Topo and Google's isn't, and Topo information is actually very useful when travelling. When I moved west I drove a truck, pulling a trailer with my car on it, up a road I never should have taken. Perhaps the squiggly road on a decent map would have given the appropriate clue, not to take that road because of the high pass. Google could at least include some elevation data in their images as an option.

Re:what about plotting waypoints on the map? (1)

Ucklak (755284) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621271)

Good point about elevation but remember;
a) It's beta
b) Google want to target local search instead of cross country travel

Type pizza or consignment and you'll see what Google is after.

Pretty awesome app.

like Endless Pursuit? (1)

Tmack (593755) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621355)

Kinda like what Endless Pursuit [endlesspursuit.com] has done? You upload you waypoints/tracks, it overlays them on a topo you view from your browser. Dont think it needs any plugins, as the overlay is done by the server and is output as a normal image.

I once had an idea of doing this, and might eventually get around to finishing it. I just dont have the map library to do the overlay. All I could do is draw the tracks. Image librarys (like gd) make drawing the tracks easy, and overlaying just as simple. Getting a library of map images that would allow you to use it for this sort of thing would be the hard part.

tm

Profane signatures... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11621383)

To remove the profane signatures of many of the friends of the profanity blacklist, add ~Profanity Blacklist (825460) as a friend then change your default mod of foes of friends to -5.

It's ironic that the only profaniy that I see on slashdot is by proponents of the profanilty blacklist.

link is devoid of any useful content... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11621088)

gee, a blogger is amazed a mapping application doesn't look exactly like a mail application!

How about linking to an article with something interesting to say, Timmeh? I expect bad writing from pundit wannabees from the slashdot editors, not from the linked articles.

Re:link is devoid of any useful content... (1)

TheGavster (774657) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621369)

Um ... the blog entry is comparing the differences in the way the page is programmed, not the layout/appearance. It is interesting that they chose a completely different technique when programming Maps than GMail.

Still doesn't work with Safari (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11621096)

I find this interesting because Google's response, if you load maps.google.com in safari, isn't "we don't care about your platform, bugger off", it's a short, apologetic note saying that they don't work in Safari yet but you can try one of these other browsers. This seems to indicate the problem isn't with Google's javascript, it's with Safari, Google's javascript is more than Safari can handle.

Hell if I were a browser company I'd pay Google a small consulting fee just to find bugs in my browser. You know, give them some cash and say "have your javascript fellows write the most fucked up thing you can, i am paying you to break my browser".

Safari javascript is based on KDE's kjs library (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11621351)

And there are subtle incompatabilities between Mozilla/Firefox's javascript, IE's jscript and KDE's kjs.

Re:Still doesn't work with Safari (1)

jdwest (760759) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621367)

A similar message was posted for Safari users when gmail was first coming online in its earlier beta versions.

I do remember a Google spokesperson expressing in a news story that Mac/Safari users were very important to Google, and gmail would be working with Safari soon (at that time).

A month or so later, all was well with Apple's browser and gmail.

Google + DOM = Mozilla Juggernaut (5, Insightful)

aaron240 (618080) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621097)

Google is bravely doing fantastic thing with client-side programming...something many websites have given up on because of cross-browser incompatibility. My money is definitely on Google being very aggressive with Mozilla/XUL based on this work. That's going to be good times!

Re:Google + DOM = Mozilla Juggernaut (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11621142)

It's because client-side javascript is a TOY language that no one wants to sully themselves with, remember?

new Google browser (alpha) is intriguing (2, Interesting)

peter303 (12292) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621207)

I'm hoping they decide to ship it. There are several very inventive features. And solves some of the issues mentioned in this thread.

Re:Google + DOM = Mozilla Juggernaut (4, Interesting)

bcmm (768152) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621352)

Have you seen this [google.com]

backflips? (2, Insightful)

Quasar1999 (520073) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621104)

Either the browser supports it, or doesn't... stop personifying software... it does what it designed to do. Just because other pages out there don't use certain features doesn't mean the browser is doing some amazing task by supporting features.

Re:backflips? (4, Funny)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621311)

...stop personifying software...

I agree, software hates being personified.

Re:backflips? (4, Informative)

TedTschopp (244839) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621339)

Trust me, getting PNG transparancy / Alpha Channel support in IE is a backflip.

It's just an expression.. (3, Informative)

JPelorat (5320) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621344)

A metaphor for accomplishing a difficult or complex task that the object or system generally wasn't thought of as capable of doing.

Settle down, Beavis.

Re:backflips? (1)

Bandman (86149) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621368)

wow, someone's being a little bit crabby today, huh?

What's the matter? Feeling left out of the fun?

By the way, complaining that people are being clever really just implies that you happen to lack that quality.

Re:backflips? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11621377)

Yes it does. The wow factor comes not just in the features, but how awesome they look. They're approaching regular application functionality in a web app. That's something special. They didn't even need java or .NET so it's even snazzier.

Let us be amazed and go worry about word-choice elsewhere.

Re:backflips? (1)

therevolution (525890) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621392)

Sheesh... chill out. It's natural for people to personify non-human things. In order to understand foreign concepts, we have to put it at a level we already understand.

While "backflips" might not have been the best analogy, I'm sure what he means is that Google is once again using Javascript in unusual and/or advanced ways to do what it's doing.

Combination (2, Interesting)

augustz (18082) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621108)

Google:

- Nice company
- Cool services
- Sweet interfaces

That is a rocking combination.

The fact that they seem to be making stuff available under Firefox as well is also great.

Re:Combination (1)

lucabrasi999 (585141) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621301)

While I'll give you the last two, I do have to question the term "nice company". The "niceness" of a corporation depends upon your point of view.

Safari support (1, Interesting)

Staplerh (806722) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621110)

Hmm, I wonder if this is why I can't use Google Maps with Safari:

I also think it bears noting that Google is pulling out all the stops to build rich web apps, no matter how weirdly they have to hack the browser to make them go. And I strongly believe that this is a trend that is here to stay -- XHTML Strict/CSS/etc be damned. At the end of the day, what really matters to users is compelling apps that let them get their work done quickly.

I'm not necessarily complaining, as I can use Firefox, but it is too bad that even Google can't get a webpage to render properly on any modern browser, such as Safari.

Oh well, I don't know that much about any of these 'browser hacks' that Google is doing, but hopefully their promised Safari support will come soon.

Re:Safari support (2, Insightful)

nojomofo (123944) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621129)

Does anybody else think that this behavior sounds like Microsoft? The "standards be damned, we're going to do something cool our way". Now granted, it's not their browser, so they're stuck with what browsers can do, but it does suck that this isn't truly cross-platform.

Re:Safari support (1)

cakoose (460295) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621316)

Sometimes it's not difficult to provide equivalent functionality in a standards-compliant way (for example, the MSN portal). In such cases, it is best to stick to standards.

Given the relative complexity of Google's Maps website, I think it's fair to give them the benefit of the doubt and accept the possibility that it is extremely hard to do this in a standards-compliant way. I think they may have chosen the option of giving each browser a slightly modified page and they just haven't gotten around to some of the other browsers yet.

Re:Safari support (2, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621151)

I'm not necessarily complaining, as I can use Firefox, but it is too bad that even Google can't get a webpage to render properly on any modern browser, such as Safari.

I assume you are saying that Firefox isn't modern? I really don't see how your complaint is any different than those posting yesterday from outside of the US (and lower .ca) that Google Maps didn't support their countries.

This is a BETA. They are going to target the largest group of surfers possible. In order to do that they are going to program the software to interface with the browsers that are most widely used (thus IE and Firefox). Yeah, Safari is great and all and I try to use it daily but Mac users (and nevermind those using Safari) are in the minority.

Just hold on tight and wait for Google to get to you. They will get around to it (just like they did for GMail) but you just have to be patient while they work through the Beta.

Re:Safari support (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11621194)

I am not the author of the grandparent post, but if I am not mistaken you have misinterpreted them.

I believe when they said "any modern browser" they were expressing shock that there are any modern browsers which experience problems with Google Maps, rather than expressing shock that there do not exist any modern browsers which do not experience problems with Google Maps.

Re:Safari support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11621240)

Agreed -- it's pretty clear that that's what he meant.

Re:Safari support (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11621241)

Wow! You're a Douchebag!

No trying to troll but is safari ever better? (1)

Mustang Matt (133426) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621157)

I'm not a mac user but I do know that on my linux boxes I always choose firefox over konquerer.

Is there anything that safari does better than firefox?

Are users simply using safari because it ships on their mac?

Re:No trying to troll but is safari ever better? (1)

carlossch (459196) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621209)

Are users simply using safari because it ships on their mac?

Are users simply using IE because it ships on their Windows boxes?

Re:No trying to troll but is safari ever better? (1)

Quattro Vezina (714892) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621276)

Well, I don't know much about Safari specifically, but KHTML is a kickass HTML renderer. Konqueror feels so much more responsive than Firefox, and I think it's just down to KHTML being lighter and faster.

There are only two reasons why I still use Firefox:

1) Konqueror's JavaScript engine blows. It's great for HTML, but not JS. I believe Safari has a better JS engine, but it's not been backported to Konqueror yet.

2) I like AdBlock too much to give it up. I've tried Privoxy, but it tends to slow things down.

Re:No trying to troll but is safari ever better? (1)

bsharitt (580506) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621373)

Is there anything that safari does better than firefox?

Safari fits in better. Firefox sticks out like a sore thumb. It doesn't integrate with thing like the system wide spell checker for text boxes. It's just a bunch of little things that end up making it feel very out of place. Firefox 1.1 is supposed to fix some o the integration problems, and 2.0 should feel pretty native.

Re:Safari support (1)

Haydn Fenton (752330) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621196)

If you've ever tried to make a webpage look correct in all browsers, you'll realise it's not as easy as opening up your fav WYSIWYG editor and making a page. Heck, even if you use plain old notepad and code the whole thing yourself, XHTML and CSS compliant, chances are (well it depends on the complexity of course) it still won't look the same in all browsers.
Then add the fact they use a heck of a lot of client-side scripting and technology that not all browsers currently support, and it's pretty amazing that they have it working in the majority of widely used browsers. If it doesn't work in a browser with (sorry, I don't know the stats for Sarafi, I'm assuming it's) around 1% or lower market share, trying to get it to work in that too would most likely break it for one of the more popular browsers.

As a web developer, you try to aim for compatability with the top browser or 2, maybe 3. Trying to get it working in them all would be more work than it's worth.

Re:Safari support (2, Informative)

Grey Ninja (739021) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621370)

Well, I've never developed this sort of stuff with Safari/Konqueror in mind. But I have written some pretty strong DHTML stuff... (A phone directory that worked entirely on the client is what I am immediately referring to.).

And I can see where Google is coming from. Sometimes, to make the cleanest interface possible, you have to use some really powerful tricks. Gmail uses the same sort of setup that I used in my phone directory... I haven't looked into the specs of Safari too much, but I do know that I couldn't find a way of making my phone directory work with Opera. Reason being that the browser just didn't have the capability that I needed (extra strength XML support). To the best of my knowledge at the time, only IE and Mozilla were sufficiently evolved to allow what I was doing.

It's true that it's not entirely standard... but it's powerful enough that Mozilla decided to break tradition and include support for doing such things. And by the time I finished my phone directory, I did make the code mostly standard... but it still didn't work in Opera.

And if you are curious, I developed it for a corporate Intranet, so the code is not available for viewing. (And I don't own the code, so I don't have a personal copy).

Usage... (2, Interesting)

Avyakata (825132) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621114)

I think another, non-technical, issue is popularity. Online maps are a good idea, but most people who find them useful are already accustomed to Mapquest. Is there anything groundbreaking enough with Google Maps to persuade them to switch?

Re:Usage... (3, Insightful)

Twench (580538) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621195)

Have you tried it out yet? I liked Mapquest but have begun finding their implementation clunky. This service is incredibly fast, incredibly accurate, incredibly versatile. The ability to drag the map around changing the center is fun and much more convenient then waiting for Mapquest to reload the page. The simple "find pizzas near my house" type search is incredible too. So, the answer to your question is yes. This app IS groundbreaking enough to persuade people to switch.

Quick review (0, Flamebait)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621120)

It's old news... I tested it two days ago, but the service is not good enough for my use. First, and above all, it does not give you coordinates. Second, Map24 [map24.com] is more complete and more detailed.

Re:Quick review (1)

iocat (572367) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621155)

A lot of google features are nice (the calculator) but not really a replacement for dedicated services. Personally I prefer Rand McNally [randmcnally.com] maps, because they are hella up-to-date.

Re:Quick review (2, Funny)

lindsay rose (764488) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621170)

It's definitely still got some bugs! My school, Clarkson University, isn't on the map, and a neigboring school, SUNY Potsdam, is mislabled as Clarkson College. Clarkson College of Technology hasn't existed since the 1980s!

Re:Quick review (1)

Coneasfast (690509) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621222)

Second, Map24 is more complete and more detailed.

let me elaborate, map24 has detailed canada maps, google has none and thus is not (or rarely) useful for us canadians.

OTOH, map24 takes a little longer to load, and is a bit slower in panning around

Re:Quick review (2, Interesting)

Proney (823793) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621319)

While on the continent view in google maps Canada isn't marked at all, but if you zoom in on it the streets are just as finely marked as their American counterparts. The directions functionality also works just fine with Canadian addresses, although it did choke a little coming up with directions from my native Toronto to my current Seattle... ;)

Re:Quick review (1)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621401)

Only if by "none" you mean "enough to show detail of the cities where about 1/3 of the population lives."

British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec all seem to have maps as detailed in the maximum zoom as US cities. Winnipeg also has street-level detail. Oddly, Edmonton and Calgary don't. But it's still a beta.

Re:Quick review (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11621245)

Ick, Map24 could not have a more bloated layout. I'd rather use Maquest.

Re:Quick review (2, Interesting)

DoorFrame (22108) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621302)

Yuck, just tried map24 for the first time and was not happy with the EXTREME load times. I don't want to sit around while silly java applets load up. Also, it didn't actually pinpoint my home address, just gave me the street. Google maps is better.

Re:Quick review (1)

lucabrasi999 (585141) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621329)

the EXTREME load times

In the OP's defense, I think map24 has just been slashdotted...

Re:Quick review (1)

jaguar5150 (822144) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621398)

Good point!

Re:Quick review (1)

jaguar5150 (822144) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621338)

Yes, Complete-ly able to crash my FF browser up on load. Perhaps this isn't the fault of Map24, and moreso the problem of my JRE. This brings up another point, though, since this is Java enabled, I would think that there would be JRE version problems?

lat/lon is there (1)

mapmaker (140036) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621409)

First, and above all, it does not give you coordinates.

Not sure if you were complaining that they don't display coordinates on the page, or that they aren't there at all for you to grab. While it is true that the lat/lon coordinates are not displayed on the results page, they are there in the html source. Which the submitter mentioned in his review.

So any app you might have (like a geocoder) that would like those coordinates can grab them from the html, just like you used to be able to do with Yahoo's map site.

Whoa! (5, Funny)

American AC in Paris (230456) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621147)

Find: insufferable whiners in Washington, DC

Not bad, Google!

Re:Whoa! (1)

DataPath (1111) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621210)

Ok... that's just spooky.

MOD PARENT UP! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11621278)

COMEDY GOLD!

  • National Republican Congress (202) 479-7000 - 1.8 mi E
  • Recording Industry Association of America (202) 775-0101 - 0.9 mi N
  • Olsson's Books & Records: Books (301) 652-3336 - 7.1 mi NW
  • Little Theatre of Alexandria (703) 683-0496 - 6.5 mi S
  • Wwlg-Am-Legends 1360: Business Office (410) 580-6800 - 37 mi NE
  • Wjfk (703) 691-1900 - 15 mi W
  • Studley Julien J Inc (703) 442-0145 - 10 mi W

Re:Whoa! (1)

JerkBoB (7130) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621306)

Find: insufferable whiners in Washington, DC

Damn! And I just lost my mod points. That is funny stuff, man.

Re:Whoa! (3, Funny)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621402)

insufferable whiners

That's just beautiful. It also works wonderfully well with the old Slashdot favourite, 'miserable failures'.

keyhole (1)

Adrilla (830520) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621154)

When will we see this merged with Keyhole, they're just begging to be smashed together.

Maybe "v" is the version number (.1 for the beta) (1)

Rescate (688702) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621166)

From the article:

Each tile URL is of the following form:
http://mt.google.com/mt?v=.1&x={x tile index}&{y tile index}=2&zoom={zoom level}
I'm not sure what the 'v' argument specifies, but it never seems to change.


Maybe "v" is the version number, which is why it never changes. Version .1 makes sense for a beta.

Scrolling only partially works (5, Funny)

Saxton (34078) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621177)

All you people complaining about Safari compatibility... For some reason I can't get my maps to scroll after they've been printed. I've tried using Epson and Canon printers. If anyone can help let me know.

Re:Scrolling only partially works (1)

pranay (724362) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621292)

use bigger paper.

Re:Scrolling only partially works (1)

955301 (209856) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621360)


And cup your hands beside your head. You should be able to scroll again.

Google Search Results (2, Interesting)

prakslash (681585) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621188)


For some reason, if one enters an address in Google Search to find a location on a map, the resulting search results still point to MapQuest and Yahoo!Maps. (See example) [google.com]

They need to update that.

Re:Google Search Results (1)

Haydn Fenton (752330) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621332)

Google Maps is still in beta, it probably won't show up till at least they're fully finished with it.

Re:Google Search Results (1)

Country_hacker (639557) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621341)

I'm guessing that'll be changed as soon as it's out of beta stage.

Re:Google Search Results (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11621389)

Please, do yourself a favor and relax. This is just a beta meaning you shouldn't expect it to be ready for general consumption.

They need to update that.

I'm willing to bet a fair amount that they knew that from the onset. what do you think?

let me know (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11621189)

when you have something as good as this [whereis.com.au] .

No graphics (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621191)

Too bad the graphics don't appear on that page when using Firefox. I checked the code and the page uses ' rather than " when coded for the image src. For example:

<img src='http://innuvo.com/users/joel/map.gif'>

Maybe that's the way XHTML is supposed to be but since I'm not one who does web design for a living I don't know.

I like it! (2, Interesting)

Sketch2 (678894) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621211)

Hello all,

I am going on travel this afternoon and I had already printed out my maps and directions from "another service (MapQuest).


Today, I did the same using Google Maps, and I found the interface much easier to use, the maps pretty good and the driving directions less complex and easier to read than the ones I usually get from other services.


I say "pretty good" on the maps, because of two things: First, several of the maps had slight discontinuities when I printed them, versus the way they looked on screen. At the left edge, there was a vertical seam where the map pieces were shifted with respect to each other. Not a big deal, as this had no great effect, but has anyone else seen this? Second, the shadows from the "start" and "end" push pins obscured some of the map information and blobbed the end of the route a bit. Does anyone know how to turn off the shadows?


Just my experience, YMMV.


smp

I still miss the aerial photos that Mapquest had.. (1)

Gadgetfreak (97865) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621213)

but now those are gone, too. I have to use Whirlwind, which doesn't do directions.

It was nice to map a location, and then check the aerial photo so you had an idea what the location looked like other than just the street.
Despite not having top notch resolution, it made finding parking lots, street entrances, and buildings quite a bit easier. Not to mention, things like public access boat launches for my kayak.

It's the icing on the cake, really. I hope the Google Maps folks realize that, and consider a future feature implementation.

Re:I still miss the aerial photos that Mapquest ha (1)

MrP-(at work) (839979) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621343)

Remember, google purchased keyhole

so that will probably happen eventually

Nice as a video game engine (3, Interesting)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621223)

I'd like to see a MMORPG ported for this, like a web-enabled version of ultima 1 that shows where everyone's looking, and we can all interact. How awesome would that be? Totally.

crash ... (1)

jasonsfa98 (648370) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621230)

It crashes my Firefox (1.0) everytime I try to map out directions from A to B.

I'll consider using it... (1)

stomv (80392) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621231)

... when it figures out where I live. Mapquest knows. map24 knows. Google doesn't... and so it doesn't (yet) pass the simplest smell test for my nose.

I look forward to it getting better.

Re:I'll consider using it... (1)

AceCaseOR (594637) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621376)

Well, where do you live? I plugged my address in, and not only did it find where I live, but that also that my street doesn't go all the way through (there's a some road, a big bunch of trees that you have to go through two intersections for.) I also really dig the little balloon thing that comes up when you click on a particular direction (turn right onto 5th St or whatever). I'm definately going to start using Google Maps over Mapquest.

Google not promoting their own map app? (2, Interesting)

danielcole (811536) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621243)

Do a phone number or address search from the main page, and Google suggests you can look at Yahoo! Maps, and MapQuest for directions, but not their own service.

Endless pursuit (2, Informative)

Tmack (593755) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621256)

Kinda like what Endless Pursuit [endlesspursuit.com] has done? You upload you waypoints/tracks, it overlays them on a topo you view from your browser. Dont think it needs any plugins, as the overlay is done by the server and is output as a normal image.

I once had an idea of doing this, and might eventually get around to finishing it. I just dont have the map library to do the overlay. All I could do is draw the tracks. Image librarys (like gd) make drawing the tracks easy, and overlaying just as simple. Getting a library of map images that would allow you to use it for this sort of thing would be the hard part.

tm

Re:Endless pursuit (1)

Tmack (593755) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621327)

ack! meant to reply to a post, not reply to the headline. bleh....

Why aren't competitors beating Google to market? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Cowdog (154277) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621268)

Google is hitting a lot of the obvious sweetspots for improving the user experience. Some of them are obvious only in retrospect. But we know their competitors have smart people, and they do UI research, and they have resources. Why does Google come out with innovation after innovation?

I have three answers. I wonder which ones are valid:

1. Laziness
2. Encumberance with legacy political and business issues (is feature x threatening to partner Fooinc, how can we hang ads on this, etc.)
3. Focus on fancy-pants analysis of numbers (data mining to try to optimise, rather than revolutionize), leading them to be blind to simple measures like using Javascript and caching lots of content in the client.

What other reasons are there?

Re:Why aren't competitors beating Google to market (5, Interesting)

Ced_Ex (789138) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621325)

4. Google allows side projects which likely hold more interest than actual business projects, hence are produced with creativity and passion.

A stir? (0, Troll)

stimpleton (732392) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621274)

"Google Maps is starting to cause a bit of a stir"

Really? With US residents only presumably.

In the absence of international support, the only "stir" I get is what I'm doing with my coffee at the moment.

Re:A stir? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11621297)

How very perceptive of you. Your powers of deduction are mind-boggling.

Re:A stir? (1)

csimicah (592121) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621394)

Great! We were all *just* wondering whether you, personally, were part of abovementioned stir.

pretty accurate (1)

blew_fantom (809889) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621283)

on a recent trip, i used mapquest, yahoo maps, and other sites to get some directions to places i need to go. needless to say, the directions were not very clear and i'd get lost most of the time... in hindsight of course, the directions given to the same places by google maps seem more "accurate" to me since i actually know where those places are now... but i've put in some locations i know very well, and google maps is actually pretty darn accurate, providing the easiest route possible with easy to follow directions. of course, that could just be the locations i've queried, but, nevertheless, google maps seems to be headed in the right direction.

Who needs maps?!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11621285)

Psffft....Maps are for people who get lost...

xml & xslt & css & javascript (1)

smooc (59753) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621321)

Although not a mpping service, I have made something like it (with the map) here. It uses a xml, xslt combination

http://www.xs4all.nl/~bolke/index.xml

works best with mozilla, ie works too but the browser has too many bugs

What WOULD you call Google's approach? (5, Interesting)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621324)

It's not quite AI, yet Google comes closer to realizing the fantasy of Isaac Asimov's Multivac than anything else I've experienced before. It's very weird: the impression that Google gives is that it does NOT understand your question, yet it DOES manage to find the answers you want.

It's not quite user-interface, in the sense of elegant widgets or consistency or any of that stuff. Google's traditional search features could almost run on Lynx on a green screen. Maybe they can. Google Maps is visually spiffy by comparison to Mapquest, but it's nothing we haven't seen in standalone programs years ago.

It isn't really "search." Or at least, if it is, with every new thing they roll out, Google does an amazing job of expanding my notion of what "search" means. What does it mean to "search" on "250 pounds in kilograms?"

Something that Google seems to share with Apple is some sort of courtesy or kindness or service orientation to the end-user. It just works. And unlike Microsoft or Apple, Google's services seem to come with fewer strings attached.

One of the things that delights me about Google is a certain kind of freshness I haven't seen elsewhere as often as I'd like. They have the characteristic you used to see in innovative software that when you describe the latest Google feature, it doesn't sound all that new, yet when you use it you get that feeling that something unexpected has been revealed.

Where this is going... (5, Interesting)

RCulpepper (99864) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621333)

I see some features that will tie in well with this. It already makes Local Search a lot more handy. I could see Google using aggregated GSM phone locator signals to forecast traffic patterns and then, after asking you when you intend to start and end your trip (so it can route you around traffic), estimating when you'll want to eat lunch, etc, so that bricks-and-mortar restaurants, gas stations on the selected route can pay for advertising - it's one segment of the economy Google has not yet touched.

When it supports (-1, Troll)

BillsPetMonkey (654200) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621345)

regions other than mid-West USA, I'll take an interest in this facility.

Personally, I wouldn't know Wichetaw County from Wisconsin, and neither would the majority of the people on the planet, connected or otherwise.

In fact, if they wanted to catch a high density of people, they should've mapped somewhere in central Japan which has half the US population in a hundredth of the area! So they chose their own backyard. To be honest, "we think outside the box" has never sounded so trite as coming from Google.

Slick, but Wrong (1)

Madcapjack (635982) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621354)

Google's maps has a very slick interface. I like it. ONLY the name of the street I live on is WRONG in the map. My street is Lincoln, and its says Dodge Road. I know that I'm not looking at the wrong location, my location is easily identifiable and the other streets nearbye are correctly named, and when I do a search for my address it goes directly to Dodge Street. (maybe Google knows something I don't?)

Re:Slick, but Wrong (1)

AceCaseOR (594637) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621406)

What street is your mailbox on?

"I'm not sure what the 'v' argument specifies, but (0, Troll)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621366)

I'm not sure what the 'v' argument specifies, but it never seems to change

how hard is it to just make a BS page locally that changes the v variable to a few different results, and looking for the difference?

Why Safari is NOT supported (2, Informative)

joestump98 (320730) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621372)

It doesn't support iframes and (as the article clearly states) iframes are a big part of how this application works.

Tried the drag functionality... (1)

Sime208 (709155) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621388)

...but couldn't go very far until I ran out of map. Typical of America to think the world begins and ends there ;-) Where's the rest of the world gone!

Can't get thar from hyar. (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621391)

I took Google Maps up on its offer to take a tour [google.com] . I found that their example, "Manhattan to Brooklyn" in the "single search box" (or even in their "Get directions:" form field) instead gives me a map of Brooklyn with (a few) businesses there with "Manhattan" in their name. I know it's a beta, but doesn't anyone test these demos before announcing them? The "tour" guide has buried a very interesting app under bad demo instructions.

Real-time traffic maps... (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621396)

I would like to see a real-time live traffic map with maps.google.com like Yahoo!'s Maps.

The world according to the US =) (1)

doktorstop (725614) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621403)

Looks like the famous cartoon has indeed made it to Google! Have a look at the map... the world is the US (nicely plotted, roads and cities) and ... Canada (full desert). No way to cross the ocean or even get a glimpse of South America existing =)
Here we go... the logical conclusion that nothing else matters! I mean, I didn't expect a map or, God forbid, even cities names, but CONTINENTS would be fun to have at least. Hey, America, we ARE on the map!

Note to jgwebber (1)

mzwaterski (802371) | more than 9 years ago | (#11621411)

The v in teh URL most likely stands for version. Here, the version is .1. Just a guess.
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