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Google Maps, Local Expand To UK

timothy posted about 9 years ago | from the well-it's-about-thames dept.

Google 373

Koushiro writes "From Google's official blog comes word that Google Maps UK and Google Local UK have been launched, confirming speculations that the search engine giant would continue to expand its regional services to an international audience. The seemingly logical next step, of course, would be to expand coverage to Western Europe, but given the input Google's UK office had into this project, can we expect Google Maps India next?"

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373 comments

Re:Waving up at you :wave: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12290741)

Oops, was that you who just got runned over by that car?

UKIP Victory! (5, Funny)

philbowman (707419) | about 9 years ago | (#12290737)

Mr Kilroy-Silk will be pleased. Just go look at Britain, and zoom right out ([-] button). Look - no Europe! Just us Brits and our American fiends.

Re:UKIP Victory! (5, Informative)

gowen (141411) | about 9 years ago | (#12290753)

Kilroy Silk isn't in UKIP anymore. He's formed his own party "Veritas [wikipedia.org] ".

The name comes from the latin : "Verity" meaning "True" and "Ass", meaning "Robert Kilroy Silk".

Re:UKIP Victory! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12290763)

Veritas - Latin for "truth" - would avoid the old parties' "lies and spin"

Good job there is no political spin on this comment or he would have to come and kick yer ass.

Re:UKIP Victory! (5, Funny)

iainl (136759) | about 9 years ago | (#12290787)

Actually, he says that he named it Veritas to signify that they're plain speaking.

Because nothing says 'plain speaking' like a bit of Latin.

Re:UKIP Victory! (2, Funny)

meringuoid (568297) | about 9 years ago | (#12290816)

He's formed his own party "Veritas".

I think you'll find it's spelled 'Vanitas'...

Re:UKIP Victory! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12290841)

I wanted to steal a more obscure joke that that ;)

I think mine was from "The Now Show".

OP

Re:UKIP Victory! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12290807)

My god yes, he will be pleased.

Now if they could just make the map bulge a bit to show how Britain is "bursting at the seems" with Gypsies and asylum seekers!

Re:UKIP Victory! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12290863)

Britain and Ireland, I think you'll find.

Satellite (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12290738)

But no Satellite mapping as yet... Still playing catchup.

OK, I'm impressed. (3, Funny)

Darkon (206829) | about 9 years ago | (#12290739)


It even found my local chippy [google.co.uk] . Go Google!

Re:OK, I'm impressed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12290788)

Re:OK, I'm impressed. (3, Informative)

gowen (141411) | about 9 years ago | (#12290815)

Because you had to know the address of the chipshop to get that URL.

Google found on the basis of "Find a chippy near my house."

Re:OK, I'm impressed. (1)

Darkon (206829) | about 9 years ago | (#12290818)


Why is this impressive again?

It's impressive because Google simply required the place name and the text "fish+chips". As far as I can see the MSN site needs you to already know the address of the fish & chip shop.

Re:OK, I'm impressed. (2, Interesting)

antdude (79039) | about 9 years ago | (#12290823)

Are those colored freeways for traffic speed status? I have never seen those in U.S. maps especially in Southern CA area.

Re:OK, I'm impressed. (4, Informative)

timthorn (690924) | about 9 years ago | (#12290853)

The colour is for the road status - in the UK we have motorways (eg M1, M25), other trunk roads (A class and B class, eg A41 or B4096), and other roads. Motorways are usually blue, A roads usually red or green, and B roads usually orange. Motorways are almost all 70mph, A roads vary from 40 to 70, and B roads from 30 to 60.

The road numbering started out as loosely based on which direction from London the road heads. The M1 goes north from London, as does the A1. The A11 is a bit further around, the A110 further still. I'm sure there's a website somewhere that explains the numbering better.

Re:OK, I'm impressed. (1)

pklong (323451) | about 9 years ago | (#12290913)

"I couldn't find the freeway and had to take some little back road called the M5"

Green A roads are Trunk route and maintainance is paid by the Highways agency (I think) rather than the local councils.

More on the speed (only for cars lorrys, busses, caravans etc. have lower limits). Road type doesn't matter.

Motorways are always 70mph unless signposted.

The Speed limit in urban areas (having street lighting not more than 200 yards apart) is 30mph unless signposted.

Outside urban areas:

Dual Carrageways are 70mph, Single Carriageways 60mph. Lower speed limits must be signposted and repeated every 200 yards (with small signs)

But there are so many signs everywhere in the UK now a speed limit sign will be near...

More here [highwaycode.gov.uk]

Re:OK, I'm impressed. (1)

iainl (136759) | about 9 years ago | (#12290857)

Not speed, just major and minor roads.

White = 'local' road, through yellow for main roads, up to the green "A" highways, and if you expand out a touch you'll see a blue Motorway (our equivalent of freeways).

Great... (1)

Teja (826685) | about 9 years ago | (#12290742)

Though I wonder if they are planning on adding a sattelite feature any time soon?

Re:Great... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12290762)

It exists already, just isn't integrated with .uk TLD. Go to regular Google Maps, scroll right to UK, and choose Satelite. HTH,

Re:Great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12290848)

No image data though unless you scroll far enough out that you can see the east and west coasts of the UK at the same time

Re:Great... (1)

oozer (132881) | about 9 years ago | (#12290770)

While you're waiting you could try using multimap.com which has been able to blend maps and aerial photography for years. Of course it doesn't have the nice smooth scrolling that google maps does so...

Re:Great... (2, Informative)

VdG (633317) | about 9 years ago | (#12290925)

Google Maps UK does look nice and I expect I'll make some use of it. However, one of the things I like about Multimap is that you can actually see the Ordnance Survey map, which gives you loads of lovely detail, including topographic information. This is very nice if you're just looking for a scenic ride.

I GOT A GREASED UP YODA DOLL SHOVED UP MY ASS! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12290743)

GO LINUX!

MOD PARENT UP!!!11 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12290750)

Informative

India on Google Maps. (2, Funny)

DarkHelmet (120004) | about 9 years ago | (#12290744)

Type in: "My Job"

And it goes to New Delhi...

Wow, those google people are so smart.

Re:India on Google Maps. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12290778)

Some one could rig google to return a redirection page.

"Sorry, Google(tm) could not find your job please try...."

Sort of like the "French military victories" joke page.

no staelite (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12290745)

it appears they don't have staelite images for the UK. Oh well :(

Interested to see if they are coming to Germany (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12290746)

To the best of my knowledge there are no publically available sources of free mapping or imaging data of Germany. It will be interesting to see what data Google will use if and when they offer the maps service here. There are certainly other free routing/mapping services, but there is no such thing as the free USGS data sets.

But the prime minister's house (-1, Troll)

Pope is gay (877278) | about 9 years ago | (#12290754)

Unable to understand address 10 downing street [mithuro.com] . Please try another address.

Suggestions: - Make sure all words are spelled correctly. - Try using a less ambiguous location like a post code

Just type "downing street" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12290800)

There are 10 to choose from so I assume it cant find 10 "number 10s" at once.

PS:

Im still trying to find "W@nkers corner, Portland" in the USA, have they wiped it from Google?, I found it in the Encarta world atlas.

Re:But the prime minister's house (3, Informative)

pklong (323451) | about 9 years ago | (#12290824)

It's not like you can go visit anyway. They errected huge steel gates at the end of Downing street years ago. All you can do if peer through the railings.

Not only the UK (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12290765)

But Ireland as well.

Re:Not only the UK (1)

meringuoid (568297) | about 9 years ago | (#12290836)

Cool. I'm going to Ireland this summer. I'll be in Westport, on the Atlantic coast, and last time I was there there was this really great pub... let's see if it can be found.

tactactac... Pubs in Westport...

Ah, lots! But all in New York... Is it a bad idea to attempt to swim the Atlantic after a hard night on the Guinness?

Re:Not only the UK (2, Insightful)

shreevatsa (845645) | about 9 years ago | (#12290878)

But IIRC, (part of) Ireland is in the UK. Doesn't UK stand for "The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland"?

Re:Not only the UK (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12290900)

Yes. Northern Ireland.

Re:Not only the UK (2, Informative)

derek_m (125935) | about 9 years ago | (#12290916)

Well, not really Maps are there for all of Ireland, but the search functionality appears to only cover Northern Ireland - so far at least.

Canada (5, Insightful)

mincognito (839071) | about 9 years ago | (#12290766)

"expand its regional services to an international audience" Canada isn't the U.S. you know.

Re:Canada (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12290791)

With a evil Grin on his face President Bush responds to mincognito "it isn't YET Mewahahahahahahahahahahahah "

Re:Canada (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12290844)

Canada (Score:2, Funny)
"expand its regional services to an international audience" Canada isn't the U.S. you know.


Yeah, laughter is the usual reaction when you point that out to Americans.

The same education is behind New Mexico needing to add USA to their license plates.

There are a lot of intelligent Americans, but just not the percentage there should be.

SMS (4, Informative)

Big Mark (575945) | about 9 years ago | (#12290769)

Re:SMS (0)

MjDelves (811950) | about 9 years ago | (#12290819)

Sorry but a little OT. Does anyone know how much it would cost to use GoogleSMS in the UK?? Would it be more than the cost of a regular text message??

Re:SMS (1)

Big Mark (575945) | about 9 years ago | (#12290858)

Read the FAQ! [google.co.uk]

How much does it cost?

Google is not charging users to send a query or receive results at this time. However, your mobile operator's standard rates for sending and receiving text messages still apply.

Re:SMS (4, Insightful)

meringuoid (568297) | about 9 years ago | (#12290890)

Bugger me. Well, that's the end of the great British pub quiz, then... I think we have to just accept it now. Google is on course to evolve into an Overmind and rule the world. Suddenly I've got an information source in my pocket that makes the Hitch Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy look feeble...

Pah! (4, Funny)

veeoh (444683) | about 9 years ago | (#12290773)

No "houses of ill repute", or "ladies of negotiable affection" near me - useless damn site!

Re:Pah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12290803)

First hint: Look up Massage parlours

Second hint: Look up clap clinic when you are done won't get you any results either.

Re:Pah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12290835)

You want UK PunterNet [punternet.com] .

(Checks he's ticked "Post Anonymously")

Re:Pah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12290856)

It's like the biggest congregation of perverts on the web.... Too bad that prostitution is legal* in the UK or the fuzz** could put that database to good use.

* Prostitution is legal, but soliciting (standing on street corners, putting adverts in phone boxes), curb crawling and "living off immoral earnings" i.e pimping are illegal. Also brothels (where there is more than one girl in a single premises) are illegal.

** police.

Re:Pah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12290864)

It's like the biggest congregation of perverts on the web....
Wow. That's a *mighty* big claim for any website...

Re:Pah! (1)

fuyu-no-neko (839858) | about 9 years ago | (#12290883)

Meanwhile...
Google suggests that for porn in my area, my first priority should be the local college. I guess those cute college girls have to pay for their education somehow ;o)

http://local.google.co.uk/local?hl=en&lr=&q=porn&n ear=taunton&btnG=Search&sc=1

I hope google drops the satellite images (0, Flamebait)

Adult film producer (866485) | about 9 years ago | (#12290775)

Google maps on the other hand is great tool that's really easy to use. Unfortunately the satellite imagery feature is really lacking. At first I was thinking 'this is great, I'll be able to explore the world because the google interface is so easy to use.' It's too bad 90% of the u.s. isn't mapped with satellite imagery in google, at least not where it can be zoomed into... it's mostly blurred out :(

Even at maximum zoom, the resolution offered by google images doesn't compare to terraserver... I in no way endorse terraserver but their database seems to be _far_ more comprehensive. Too bad it doesn't work in Firefox... but thats standard microsoft operating procedure isn't it.

Oh, check this out,

White House satellite photo from google. Blurred out. [google.com]

Now look at this.. *lol*

Naval Base. [google.com]

Ya, lets blur out the white house but give detailed photos of probably the biggest naval base in America ? heh

If you scroll over.... (0)

Momoru (837801) | about 9 years ago | (#12290779)

If you scroll all the way to the left, you see the US maps, if you scroll to the right you see just water...kind of reverse Christopher Columbus. Doesn't seem to want to make a map from London to Washington, DC though.

Re:If you scroll over.... (1)

zocle (755618) | about 9 years ago | (#12290849)

How long before asking for directions between locations in different countries, such as your house in the UK and a hotel in the US, and google gives you details of flights between the nearest appropriate airports?

That would be the kind of leap ahead of the competition we can expect from the mighty G.

Re:If you scroll over.... (4, Informative)

meringuoid (568297) | about 9 years ago | (#12290908)

How long before asking for directions between locations in different countries, such as your house in the UK and a hotel in the US, and google gives you details of flights between the nearest appropriate airports?

I played with this a bit. Plan a route from, say, Bristol to Belfast, and Google will include the ferry from Holyhead to Dublin. So, my guess: not very long at all.

Nice but not up to date (4, Informative)

trash eighty (457611) | about 9 years ago | (#12290781)

very nice though several newish roads (2-3 years old by now) near me arn't on the maps.

Re:Nice but not up to date (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12290866)

And there is a lack of detail on public highways that are not in built-up areas. This would be great illustrating the South Downs Way, but it just doesn't (yet?).

Re:Nice but not up to date (1)

hoofie (201045) | about 9 years ago | (#12290879)

Google apparently uses Tele Atlas. Thats the same provider as my in car GPS [navman-europe.com] .

Some people in the UK have complained that its not up-to-date enough, although the version I have does have the M6 [m6toll.co.uk] toll road on it.

Google Ireland (1)

cormster (314629) | about 9 years ago | (#12290796)

Actually, i'm sure it was more to do with Google Ireland, since their European headquarters is here, and Irish maps appeared just before the UK ones.

Inaccurate? (1)

rbbs (665028) | about 9 years ago | (#12290805)

Not sure where they get their data from...
my postcode is wrong as is my nearest tube...

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=angel,+n1&hl=en

although it does have the link in the right place...just not the picture...v odd

Route Finder (1)

ReVMD (141168) | about 9 years ago | (#12290814)

If I took some of the routes its suggesting for me to get about the outskirts of london I'd be arrested for going the wrong way down one way streets.

Still impressive considering local companies such as the RAC [rac.co.uk] can't even give such clear directions.

And on US Google maps (1)

Static_Neurotoxin (141004) | about 9 years ago | (#12290820)

If you zoom out and scroll far to your right, you see the UK.

http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=51.468750,-0.099501 &spn=6.487427,8.975830&t=k&hl=en [google.com]
http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=51.468750,-0.099501 &spn=4.613281,8.271914&hl=en [google.com]

Now if they could only get Canadian Highways to stop showing up as US interstates...

Re:And on US Google maps (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12290889)

You can also search a UK postcode in the .com version, and it takes you to the UK.
SW7 2BZ [google.com] .

And UK searches too, e.g. My university [google.com] .

The preference between US/UK is strange though -- if I search Boston, I get Boston Mass., with "Boston UK" I get the one in the UK. "cambridge" gives me the UK, "cambridge USA" the USA.

Top marks for making it work with Opera, too :-)

Australia next please ! (1)

Foddrick (13702) | about 9 years ago | (#12290830)

Compared to any offerings we have for this country, (Yes, I'm talking to you Whereis [whereis.com.au] ) Google Maps is sorely needed. Can anyone recommend an Aussie site that's better than whereis ?

Re:Australia next please ! (2, Interesting)

imroy (755) | about 9 years ago | (#12290860)

Bah, with our small population in relation to our large size we'll probably be the last continent to be covered by Google maps/local. I'd expect western Europe and/or southeast Asia to be covered next. Lots more people there. Even parts of Africa and South America might be covered before us.

Hmm, good and bad things (5, Funny)

iainl (136759) | about 9 years ago | (#12290843)

On the one hand, it knows about the mighty Hings [google.co.uk] , the Food of the Gods. On the other, I'm more than a little disturbed by the Google ad that 'helpfully' suggests I could find cheaper Fish & Chips on eBay. Doesn't really bear thinking about, that one.

Unusual Projections (5, Insightful)

andrewbirkett (23898) | about 9 years ago | (#12290852)

In the UK, most maps use the British Grid projection. Google, in their international wisdom, appear to have used a different projection which causes the map to "appear wrong" to a UK person. Actually, the map is perfectly correct, it's just that Google are presenting it in a way which is not customary for the UK.

For example, try a search for postcode "EH1" on http://maps.google.co.uk, and the same on www.multimap.co.uk. Notice that the shape of the quarter-circle road system (Princes St, Melville Drive, the Bridges) is different on each.

Re:Unusual Projections (1)

badfish99 (826052) | about 9 years ago | (#12290892)

It looks to me like what has gone wrong with "EH1" is that the multimap version is a genuine map (it looks to me like a regular Ordnance Survey map) whereas the google version is just an air photograph coloured in: it looks wrong because it is wrong, because it's been taken from an angle. I suppose they couldn't afford to pay for proper map data, so they just paid some people in India to trace over the roads on some photos they took from a plane or satellite.

Re:Unusual Projections (2, Insightful)

Jussi K. Kojootti (646145) | about 9 years ago | (#12290905)

Well, maybe that international wisdom is worth something?

I mean, they will eventually cover continental Europe too. Then would you like to have different services for the UK and rest of Europe? Or maybe you're thinking rest of Europe should use the British Grid too ;)

Google Maps India a distant dream (4, Interesting)

cOdEgUru (181536) | about 9 years ago | (#12290859)

Not due to the lack of attempt, just that mostly directions meant (when I was growing up) was : "Go Straight for two kilometres, turn right at the Junction with the Statue and then one mile ahead take a left by the Cricket Stadium". Not something you want to pull up on Google!

In the Rural areas of the country and even in the suburbs of some major metropolitan areas, the above method will apply.

Rarely are there Street names. But it doesnt really matter as men arent embarassed to ask for directions :)

Re:Google Maps India a distant dream (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12290894)

But it doesnt really matter as men arent embarassed to ask for directions

Don't know about you, but I never ask for directions. Zen Driving's the way to go:
Find a car that looks like it knows where its going and follow that.

It almost never gets you where you want to go, but it'll get you where you need to go.

Re:Google Maps India a distant dream (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12290917)

Don't know which part of India you live in, but I tell people to go straight down you know, that road thing, and turn right at the cow. My house is on the left. Not a troll. Really.

Where's Edinburgh? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12290861)

The capital of Scotland seems to be missing.

Re:Where's Edinburgh? (2, Interesting)

willm5 (592275) | about 9 years ago | (#12290873)

The label for Dunfermline obscures the label for Edinburgh on the zoomed out view. It is actualy there if you zoom in a bit..

Stripped-down mapping. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12290868)

Speaking as a geographer/cartographer, I've found Google Maps exceedingly useful. But a few things to note, applying both to the UK and the US sites.

--Data resolution is far from uniform. We see every little street in central London, but go to northern Scotland and only (relatively) major roads show up.

--The engine is less than wonderful when it comes to choosing the most important towns to identify on the maps at various scales. The base view identifies the Edinburgh neighborhood of Dunfermline, rather than the greater (and more recognizable) conurbation. Similarly, I've found it awkward when looking around the US midwest--sometimes it seemed to display every place name *but* Peoria.

--In the US version at least, highway numbers seem to be displayed fully only at very high zooms. There could also be more distinction in road grades--currently the system distinguishes only freeways, state roads, and everything else. This makes it a bit difficult to use the system for figuring out driving routes.

--Could do better at showing non-road things: rivers, neighborhoods, etc.

All in all, the search feature and seemless panning are excellent, but the maps generated are a bit too stripped-down for my tastes.

Looks like UK satellite views soon too... (4, Interesting)

Aphrika (756248) | about 9 years ago | (#12290874)

If you go to the maps.google.com [google.com] , zoom right out and switch to satellite view, you can scroll over to the right where the UK is and hey presto satellite views!

It's not complete yet and only zooms halfway in before you're notified it's incomplete, but it should definitely be something to look forward to.

hmmm .... (-1, Troll)

thempstead (30898) | about 9 years ago | (#12290885)

... no satelite images ... and it doesn't even have my road on it, (although it is ~2 years old)

4.5/10

t

Other option..(I think its better) (2, Informative)

xtracto (837672) | about 9 years ago | (#12290891)

Although I am a google fan, I have been using for quite some time the Map24 [map24.com] page after someone in /. pointed at it. I find it quite useful and the interface is pretty cool (Real time map find using Java or No Java option.

I find it quite useful to look for places in Europe when going to a conference or vacations, that and the HostelWorld [www.hostelworld] are pretty cool pages, now, there is something I have seen no Map page do, that is, to add Bus line information to the maps, I know in some countrys it would be rather difficult but, in UK, there is Arriva, MerseyTravel and other companies whose lines and journeys are very well defined, now, if someone adds that functionality it will be THE map web page I will use =o).

Googledot.org (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12290909)

News for Google fans, Google features that matter.

I'm really getting sick of this. Can we please have a blockable category for Google stories?

No junction numbers. (1)

shippo (166521) | about 9 years ago | (#12290921)

If you find a route between two locations that includes motorway travel, there's no indication of the junction number when leaving a motorway.

Poor routing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12290923)

Look at something like this route [google.co.uk] (Leicester to location in London). It takes you ¼-way round the M25, much much longer than continuing to the end of the M1, and slower too! Insane!

The services need to be imporved (1)

deconvolution (715827) | about 9 years ago | (#12290924)

I try to find something about northern ireland in both local/map services, but it says

Unable to understand address northern ireland. Please try another address. Suggestions: - Make sure all words are spelled correctly. - Try using a less ambiguous location like a post code

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