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Do You Recommend Google Maps API or Microsoft Live Maps?

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the two-options-many-permutations dept.

Programming 252

KSobby writes "The organization that I work for is going to be redoing our website in .Net/AJAX. On the site, our members will have profile pages listing where their organizations are located (our members are scattered throughout the world) as well as other pertinent information for the general public. It is a non-profit organization, so funds are tight. My question to you: If we include maps, which API do we go with: Google or Microsoft? We're in a Microsoft environment (we're non-profit and Microsoft basically gives us everything for free) but the ubiquity of Google may be enough to sway us. Has anyone used either extensively? Used them in conjunction with .Net?"

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I let google answer (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20787689)

Re:I let google answer (1)

blantonl (784786) | more than 7 years ago | (#20788847)

That isn't funny - that is hilarious.

OMG the irony.

Re:I let google answer (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20789069)

Google really should hire an SEO expert.

Google will spy on your members (0, Flamebait)

megaditto (982598) | more than 7 years ago | (#20787707)

Go with Microsoft. They actually have a privacy policy.

Re:Google will spy on your members (1)

iknownuttin (1099999) | more than 7 years ago | (#20787835)

Go with Microsoft. They actually have a privacy policy.

I don't I've ever seen a privacy policy actually enforced. I usually take those things as not being worth the paper (bits) that they're written on.

How about this then? (3, Informative)

megaditto (982598) | more than 7 years ago | (#20787865)

Err... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20788855)

I've seen their report and I know what they do. However, I see good reason to trust Google (if they betray my trust, I'll dump them flat and they seem to know this; they've actually done meaningful things to increase privacy; they're honest and direct about what their actual policies are) and not so much reason to trust the other people listed. At least, no more than Google.

In the mean time, didn't Microsoft & Yahoo turn over dissidents to China? And didn't Google refuse the subpoena of user data from the US government when Microsoft & Yahoo gave it over without question?

I understand paranoia about your identity perfectly well. It just seems stupid to focus on the smaller threats when there are larger ones nearby, you know?

Actually, maybe I understand the paranoia better than you. I mean, you posted that while logged in...

Re:How about this then? (5, Interesting)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 7 years ago | (#20789051)

Did you actually read that report? In my humble opinion, it was basically some guys opinion dressed up as a scientific study. There was no repeatable methodology and the author didn't even bother to fully fill out the matrix. Go read the comments on the story you linked to, if you want to get more detailed commentary.

Incidentally, I say this as a very biased person. I work for Google, on Google Maps. As per usual, what's written here is my own opinion and not that of my employers. I won't comment on the Google vs Microsoft debate - it's not my place to do so - but I'd like to say that I've seen first hand (and participated in) the very strict procedures we have in place to protect peoples privacy.

For instance, I'm one of the very few people who have Maps logs access (ie, I can see cookies and IP addresses), and that's only because I work directly with the servers on a day-to-day basis and do abuse handling as part of my job. The vast majority of Maps developers have no logs access at all. I have to periodically rejustify my access, I'm not allowed to track any individual cookie or IP address for longer than 24 hours, my own usage of the logs is recorded and audited, I'm not allowed to take the logs out of their secure holding area and am not allowed to give logs in non-scrubbed form to anybody else. Violating these rules is grounds for instant termination. Contrast this with ISPs which sell clickstream data [] on the open market.

I'm not trying to make any statement of policy or anything, because that's not my job, but if end-user privacy is going to be a deciding factor in which maps product to use, hopefully now you have more insight into how seriously we treat end user data (what I described applies to all Google products by the way).

Re:Google will spy on your members (1)

Max4400 (1154375) | more than 7 years ago | (#20787899)

I don't think so. Why they will spy on his particular community? Also, google have most robust maps and data available. Last time I checked microsoft maps is no where near when compared to google maps services. At present it covers only big cities and nothing else.

Re:Google will spy on your members (1)

hauntingthunder (985246) | more than 7 years ago | (#20787927)

first things first make sure it works with javascript turned off

FC? (0, Troll)

gcnaddict (841664) | more than 7 years ago | (#20787713)

Sounds like you're a Microsoft Featured Community.

If that's the case, stick with Microsoft's implementation. You'd end up being more loyal, and Microsoft likes loyalty.

qg3rea (-1, Offtopic)

R00BYtheN00BY (1118945) | more than 7 years ago | (#20787727)


Re:qg3rea (3, Funny)

Cutie Pi (588366) | more than 7 years ago | (#20788529)

You know, I just read your comment history. I used to be a troll like you. I just posted whatever the hell came to my mind whether it be random crap or songs about my penis or just a quick "frist psot". It was a small release, a little bit of humor in my otherwise boring life.

But trolling became an addiction to me... soon I was doing everything I could to get a rise out of fellow netizens. I basically spent all my time trolling Slashot and other various forums. Of course Slashot was my favorite trolling venue because the demographic was a perfect fit for me. Imagine the endless sources of amusement Slashot gave to someone like me, a self-hating sociophobe who enjoyed nothing more than hating other people just like myself. So, for example, I would sit in front of my computer on a Friday night and blast anyone on Slashot that would post something. I would call them losers for not having anything better to do than reading Slashdot on a Friday night! Classical projection at its finest.

Of course, all addicts have to hit a rock bottom before they become willing to change their behavior. That happened to me on July 6, 2003. I remember it like it was yesterday. I had found my ultimate prey: a seasoned Slashdot poster who just couldn't resist feeding the trolls. I basically "stalked him"... hitting refresh countless time waiting for him to make a comment, then instantly posting a personal attack. He never failed to respond, which just fed my addiction. But then one day, I got a knock on my door from the FBI, cybercrimes division. Apparently this poster I had stalked was an in real life an FBI agent. He had emailed the Slashdot staff and gotten my IP address. It was then a simple matter for him to trace the messages back to me. Here I was, never in trouble with the law before, with an FBI agent staring me down. Although I had done nothing wrong, he didn't waste any time giving me a 3rd degree questioning. It was only 20 minutes, but felt like hours. He left me with standing in the doorway with a pale face and shit in pants.

Needless to say, I cleaned up my act and worked on becoming a normally functioning member of society. I started seeing a therapist, got many of my self-hate and anger issues resolved (I still have lots more to work on) and started actively trying to make friends online. Its amazing how much my life has turned around. Before that day, I was friendless, both in the real world and online, had never had a romantic relationship that lasted more than 3 months, and was a virgin. Now, I have a wife with a baby on the way, have lots a friends at work and in my community, and enjoy reading and discussing views with a variety of online buddies.

I'm posting this because I sense that your trolling is a cry for help, one that I know well. I hope that some day you can find happiness like I did.

Uniform Experience. (0, Troll)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#20787993)

If [you are a "featured community", stick with Microsoft's implementation. You'd end up being more loyal, and Microsoft likes loyalty.

When you sleep on a bed of nails, you might as well sit on broken bottles?

What kind of threat does M$ really have here? If they yank their second rate software, the questioner can move to free software.

Re:Uniform Experience. (0, Offtopic)

flooffy (191433) | more than 7 years ago | (#20788057)

i don't have anything to add to this thread.


In my experience (3, Insightful)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 7 years ago | (#20787751)

In my (little) experience the MS API is a lot clearer and "logical" to my .net trained brain than Google's. But in the end, my experience is that both work reasonable well, and leaving politics and idealogical issues aside, I would say, test both and choose the one you like more.

Re:In my experience (1)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 7 years ago | (#20788585)

I haven't used the MS API but I've done lots of things with the Google API and have found it quite easy to use.

Re:In my experience (2, Informative)

EvilIdler (21087) | more than 7 years ago | (#20789027)

In MY experience, I've found people write APIs over everything they don't find easy enough.
For Google Maps, I've found a simple wrapper class that cuts down immensely on the code,
and similar projects are bound to exist for .net. As others have mentioned, Google's
maps work in pretty much any browser.

Compatibility (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20787755)

It's the same product, but Google maps works with more browsers. Sounds like an easy choice to me.

Re:Compatibility (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 7 years ago | (#20788393)

Is either one Open? Go with that which won't pigeon whole you into a lock-in situation.

Re:Compatibility (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20788541)

They are not the same product and it sounds like you haven't even used Live before.

Although thats gotta be a tough choice for a lot of open-source users since they never get to experience a lot of software that others do or get the extra features. Gotta suck to always have a computer that is handicap in the experience they get to see and use.

Re:Compatibility (2, Informative)

s4m7 (519684) | more than 7 years ago | (#20788893)

I should really know better than to feed the trolls, but... *sigh* here goes.

They are not the same product and it sounds like you haven't even used Live before.
No, they're not the same. Live Maps is not as feature-mature as google maps. Live maps has a larger download footprint due to extra css and js files that most map developers will not need. Live Maps lacks good sat imagery for a very large portion of the globe.

Gotta suck to always have a computer that is handicap in the experience they get to see and use.
I wouldn't know, I use linux which has had an accelerated 3d desktop and a fully indexed filesystem for a few years now, has several really sweet development environments to choose from (at no additional cost!) and otherwise totally rocks. I still haven't seen vista do anything my computer can't do, except annoy the piss out of me and use way more system resources than it needs. And I'm running happily on 3 year old hardware.

go with google (5, Insightful)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 7 years ago | (#20787757)

I say go with Google. If their map system suddenly changes they'll at least be smart enough to include legacy support or do something remotely responsible and there's no way that their entire map system would just disappear. As for Microsoft, they change their names and systems more often than I change my pants and if suddenly all of that new Microsoft Live crap disappeared, nobody would be surprised at all. Just think how many new Microsoft inventions/projects/experiments there were that either didn't do well enough so they cut them or they did really well and they cut them anyway for who knows what reason.

Re:go with google (5, Funny)

BlowHole666 (1152399) | more than 7 years ago | (#20787869)

As for Microsoft, they change their names and systems more often than I change my pants
You must smell very bad :)

Re:go with google (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20788011)

You must smell very bad :)
Well, this [] is the guy you're replying to...

Re:go with google (4, Insightful)

fredrik70 (161208) | more than 7 years ago | (#20788603)

quite rubbish, If MS does anything it's hanging on to their old API for far too long. That's why they're so bloody bloated, remember? They might be happy to invent new ways of doing things quite often, but they keep the old stuff, hence the mess they're are in now with Vista - trying to make sure *all* ways of doing things work!

Re:go with google (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20788993)

>>I say go with Google. If their map system suddenly changes they'll at least be smart enough to include legacy support or do something remotely responsible and there's no way that their entire map system would just disappear.

Someone is certainly not a Microsoft fanboy, eh ?

Its obvious you haven't spent much time with Microsoft software. There's absulutely no other commercial vendor that goes to the extent Microsoft goes to in order to maintain backward compatibility. If you have ever wondered why code is Microsoft code is bloated the answer is backward compatibility. If you have wondered why a supported standard is not the latest and shiniest new standard the answer is again backward compatibility. You should go out and read sometime about Microsoft's appcompat (application compatibility) labs, it will help widen your views. This may surprise you but there have been documented instances where a vendor of an application has incorrectly used an OS API, resulting in the application breaking when a new Windows version or Service Pack is released. Microsoft is known to implement application specific workarounds to allow the incorrectly written application to contiue working in the interest of appcompat.

>>As for Microsoft, they change their names and systems more often than I change my pants and if suddenly all of that new Microsoft Live crap disappeared, nobody would be surprised at all.

Microsoft has documented and published support policies for each version of their software so at any time you can know what level of support you are entitled to for what you purchase. The MS Maps service may have gone through name changes, but they've been around for over 5 years now. With the announced 1.3B they are shovelling into the Live services for FY2008, its more likely your pants will be discarded by you before the service dies.

Google Maps (5, Interesting)

EjayHire (860402) | more than 7 years ago | (#20787761)

In your situation, I would go with Google. The Live web services are really new, and they will evolve over time, especially if they follow the same model as MS other mapping software.. free -> bundled -> unbundled/not free. Between Microsoft and Google, who do you trust for backwards compatibility in a year or two?

Re:Google Maps (3, Informative)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 7 years ago | (#20788071)

Between Microsoft and Google, who do you trust for backwards compatibility in a year or two?

Microsoft. It took me 4 hours to port our software to Vista, and that mostly had to do with a (nonMS) driver and a (MS) dll issue. The trick to MS backwards compatibility is to not use the undocumented shit. SimCity broke when they went to 95 (they actually installed a patch in the OS for it for compatibility reasons), because of undocumented "features". Case in point, the permissions that they set up in XP were ignored by most developers because everyone ran in Admin mode. Then, they get to Vista, and "Accept or Deny" became famous overnight. Our installer, and our software, followed the annoying rules in XP on the offchance that someone was running as a regular user. Hence, when we ported over to Vista, the only time users had to verify the softwares intention was when installing the first time/patches. And that's a good time to pop that box up.

Re:Google Maps (3, Insightful)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 7 years ago | (#20788601)

It took me 4 hours to port our software to Vista [...] The trick to MS backwards compatibility is to not use the undocumented shit.
That might be true, but how is it relevant as a comparison to Google?

The issue isn't Microsoft's desktop backwards compatibility issues (which is debatable in itself). Thing is, Windows and MSN/Live/etc. just happen to exist in the same company, otherwise, nothing is really shared between them. When you compare Microsoft to Google with respect to maps APIs, you need to compare Google to MSN/Live/etc., which has seen many name and strategy changes and is far less mature than Google's offerings. Google APIs are consequently more stable and less likely to change.

A conservative approach will therefore recommend Google APIs. They are more seasoned, more tested, work on more browsers, and used successfully by far more organizations and businesses.

Certainly Microsoft (2, Interesting)

holophrastic (221104) | more than 7 years ago | (#20789003)

You are incredibly correct, and for so many reasons.

If you're a business, doing real business things, you always want to go with Microsoft solutions. I've recently discovered the absolute incredible ease with which Microsoft handles business clientel -- i.e. me.

Google owes you nothing -- you aren't Google's customer. They make no money off of you, nor anyone like you. They'll gladly ignore all of your wants and desires to please their profit centres -- and rightfully so, it's a business. Microsoft needs to make you happy. You are, or represent their client-base, which includes me.

You want backwards compatibility down the line? Vista 32bit still support windows 3.1 applications. What is that, almost twenty years old? And keep in mind that you have a legal relationship with Microsoft too. If you spend $1.00, you have a claim, whatever it may be. Microsoft can't do illegal things with your property. Google can, you have no contract with them at all. All the privacy policies in the world are useless, and say so right in them: "this policy is subject to change without notice" -- gee thanks for the enforceable legal agreement.

I've said it before -- yesterday -- I'll say it again. If you're running a real business, doing real business things, with real people, with real objectives, you want to run with the Microsoft option, and you really want to ignore the Google alternatives. If you're just having fun doing things on your own, then it doesn't much matter what you use -- it's just recreational.

Oh yeah, and you'll get phenominal support from Microsoft. I've never heard of any support from Google. Community help, my ass.

Re:Google Maps (1, Flamebait)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 7 years ago | (#20788243)

Between Microsoft and Google, who do you trust for backwards compatibility in a year or two?

Google... With the caveat that their 'backwards compatibility' will actually be 'have not upgraded/updated in two years'.

Stick with MS (1, Insightful)

everphilski (877346) | more than 7 years ago | (#20787765)

Yeah, MS Virtual Earth (which is what Microsoft Live Maps is a derivative of) integrates with .NET... so stick with it and you can benefit from code reuse.

Re:Stick with MS (0, Flamebait)

Azghoul (25786) | more than 7 years ago | (#20788439)

Given you sig, why the fuck are you even here? Just wondering.

Microsoft API experience (3, Informative)

LordSah (185088) | more than 7 years ago | (#20787769)

I've implemented a solution based on Live Maps, and I was pretty happy. Not having used Google's, I can't provide tit-vs-tat comparison, but I know enough to tell you that MS's API is intuitive and easy to pick up.

OpenStreetMap? (1)

saibot834 (1061528) | more than 7 years ago | (#20787771)

Ever heard of OpenStreetMap [] (Wikipedia [] )?
Even though it is not complete in most regions, it sounds very promising imho. And it is free! [] (as in freedom AND beer)

Re:OpenStreetMap? (3, Informative)

nwf (25607) | more than 7 years ago | (#20787901)

Even though it is not complete

I'll say. The entire city of Philadelphia is missing, and it's not exactly a small city. In fact, looking at the eastern US, it's pretty much useless at this point. Alas.

OpenStreetMap uses (2, Informative)

Lord Satri (609291) | more than 7 years ago | (#20788025)

For your information, OpenStreetMap [] uses the API [] to render its maps. The two have very different purposes.

Answer to the question: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20787779)

No, I don't.

Google Maps is the best! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20787789)

Tru dat, Double True!

Re:Google Maps is the best! (-1, Offtopic)

CrazyTalk (662055) | more than 7 years ago | (#20787905)

Dang, beat me to it. I hope SOMEONE mods this up! And I need to watch that video again.

Mr. Pibb + Red Vines = CRAZY DELICIOUS

About to make the switch (3, Informative)

Garrynz (904755) | more than 7 years ago | (#20787803)

About to make the switch to Microsoft Live Maps, I find Google maps to slow to load, if they load at all. Of course there isn't anything stopping you trying both and choosing the best that suits your needs.

I would like to counter-offer (-1, Troll)

GweeDo (127172) | more than 7 years ago | (#20787813)

As a proud member of the OSS/Linux community I would like to counter Microsoft's offer to you and offer you an environment that is free as well. As an added benefit, ours will always be free, you won't have to hope that we offer you another free upgrade down the road:
Linux []

Re:I would like to counter-offer (1)

heffrey (229704) | more than 7 years ago | (#20788051)

And what about the OSS maps?

Re:I would like to counter-offer (2, Informative)

the_B0fh (208483) | more than 7 years ago | (#20788367)

That's being a little silly. The guy's in an environment that is Microsoft centric, and if it's non-profit, they probably have a lot of non-profit type software that does not run in linux. I know, because I'd helped a little 3-5 person non-profit, and their grant giving foundation requires them to use a specific piece of software to request grants. Would I want to reduce the grants I can get by screwing around with computers and OSes? Hell no.

Not everyone or everything should run linux. And I've been using linux since 1.3, and have no windows boxes in my house (other than in VMs)

Go with Microsoft, get MapCruncher (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20787817)

I recently discovered MapCruncher [] which is a super cool add-on for the Microsoft Virtual Earth API. Basically, if you have any of your own high resolution maps (like PDF of a floorplan or bicycle route or whatever) you can align it to Virtual Earth and MapCruncher writes the thousands of tiny image tiles needed to make your map easily browsable right on top of Virtual Earth. Google doesn't have anything like this. (Even though Google Earth has an "image overlay" feature, they have nothing that runs in the browser, plus it forces the user to download the entire overlay image instead of just the tiny pieces they're trying to view.)

MapCruncher rocks!

Depends on whether you want to be screwed (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20787825)

Depends on whether you prefer to be screwed clockwise or counter-clockwise.

Re:Depends on whether you want to be screwed (1)

hendrikboom (1001110) | more than 7 years ago | (#20788429)

Screwing counterclockwise unscrews.

Checkout's comparison (5, Informative)

sp00 (639381) | more than 7 years ago | (#20787831)

Redfin did a decent writeup [] at the beginning of the year when they were deciding what technology to use. It was helpful to read when I was making the decision for the company I work for. Some of the things they point out have changed/been fixed, but it's still a good overview.

Use Mapquest Posts (2, Interesting)

adrenlinerush (1163763) | more than 7 years ago | (#20787837)

If you're funding is tight... just use mapquest... here's a class i wrote for one of my apps to get the uri

Public Class clsMapQuest
        Public Function getURI(ByVal sAddress As String, ByVal sCity As String, ByVal sState As String, ByVal sZip As String, _
                ByVal eAddress As String, ByVal eCity As String, ByVal eState As String, ByVal eZip As String) As System.Uri

                Dim url = New System.Uri("" _
                                        & "&1g=&1pl=&1v=&" _
                                        & "1n=&1pn=&1a=" _
                                        & sAddress & "&1c=" & sCity & "&1s=" & sState & "&1z=" & sZip & "&2y=US&2ffi=&2l=&2g=&2pl=&2v=&2n=&2pn=&2a=" _
                                        & eAddress & "&2c=" & eCity & "&2s=" & eState & "&2z=" & eZip & "&panelbtn=2")

                Return url
        End Function
End Class

Re:Use Mapquest Posts (4, Funny)

Applekid (993327) | more than 7 years ago | (#20787909)

I think your giant string-concatenating code makes baby Blaise Pascal cry.

Re:Use Mapquest Posts (1)

BlowHole666 (1152399) | more than 7 years ago | (#20787937)

Please show us your code.

Re:Use Mapquest Posts (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 7 years ago | (#20787967)

congratulations on breaking slashdot

Re:Use Mapquest Posts (1)

A Friendly Troll (1017492) | more than 7 years ago | (#20788167)


Try this (sorry, no capital letters, typing out of my head):

dim sb as new stringbuilder
sb.appendformat("&1a={0}&1c={1}&1s={2}&1z={3}", sAddress, sCity, sState, sZip)
sb.appendformat("&2a={0}&2c={1}&2s={2}&2z={3}", eAddress, eCity, eState, eZip)
dim url = new system.uri(sb.tostring)

StringBuilders and String.Format() are your friends :) Don't concatenate like this.

Re:Use Mapquest Posts (1)

adrenlinerush (1163763) | more than 7 years ago | (#20788237)

I know the proper way... Laziness plays a key... as well as time... Just thought I'd give the guy a free alternative to spending money on proprietary junk...

Re:Use Mapquest Posts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20788319)

There's humor in that comment, since it was in VB.NET.

I don't mean to bust your chops, just finding it slightly hypocritical... and humorous. :-)

Re:Use Mapquest Posts (1)

adrenlinerush (1163763) | more than 7 years ago | (#20788351)

I'm an open source junkie and prefer to code in C or Delphi but I work in a windows shop that uses primarily VB 6.0 and the latest stuff is VB.NET... I know it's unfortunate...

Re:Use Mapquest Posts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20788211)

God, that's hideous.

First, use an ACTUAL exposed API, not URL-building hackery.

Secondly, if you MUST use MapQuest and can't license the API, at LEAST use a StringBuilder instead of concatenating a gigantic string all helter skelter.

Christ, I pity your employer and clients if you ACTUALLY deployed that code.

Re:Use Mapquest Posts (1)

adrenlinerush (1163763) | more than 7 years ago | (#20788283)

You don't think I realize this... Just trying to be a nice guy and give the guy a free alternative!

Re:Use Mapquest Posts (1)

heinzkunz (1002570) | more than 7 years ago | (#20788661)

Here's something similar for google maps on a web site:

<form action="" method="get">
  <input type="text" name="saddr" />
  <input type="text" name="daddr" />
  <input type="submit" />

Can't get more straight-forward than that.

Re:Use Mapquest Posts (1)

Bellum Aeternus (891584) | more than 7 years ago | (#20788909)

Dude, StringBuilder is your friend (in .Net). Man, if one of my programmers put that many string concats into one of our projects I'd have to have a word with him. Can we say "garbage collection hell"? API ! (5, Informative)

Lord Satri (609291) | more than 7 years ago | (#20787931)

Really. Don't want to get stucked by one of the numerous webmap providers? Use [] . OpenLayers, open source, will legally allow you to connect to Google, Microsoft, Yahoo! and other providers' data and switch between any without ever changin your code. No jokes, this is the best choice. Of course, it allows you to do *much* more. Want to learn more [] ? Also, OpenLayers works perfectly with other widely used webmapping software, such as [] and many others. See also the webmapping section over [] . (Yes I'm one of the founders, but it's really on-topic! :-) Why not read this entry on the webmapping APIs and data access [] . API ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20788007)

Give it up already! API ! (1)

aembleton (324527) | more than 7 years ago | (#20788507)

Thank-you for mentioning I was thinking a while back that some kind of common interface between mapping systems would be useful for avoiding proprietary lock-in down the road. This is incredibly useful.

Do both. Seriously. (4, Informative)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 7 years ago | (#20787955)

If we include maps, which API do we go with: Google or Microsoft?

Do both. Seriously.

One of the oldest rules a downstream manufacturer (that's you) should follow is "avoid supplier lock-in". If you code with only one of these software titans in mind, you're subject to their terms. If you code for both, you can tell one vendor to zark off and/or play one rep against the other at pricing/ad-rev negotiation time.

Oh wait - you're a small non-profit with free Microsoft software? In that case there's no reason not to go with Microsoft. Development in 100% Microsoft tools is better than anything Google has...

Re:Do both. Seriously. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20788435)

That's only true if Microsoft also support all modern browsers and can be counted on to continue to do so.

Dog turds are also free.

Google maps == Google earth (3, Informative)

nweaver (113078) | more than 7 years ago | (#20787975)

One of the really nice things about Google maps is the same API is used for google maps and google earth. Well, maps uses a subset.

So you can easily do pretty-ultra-eyecandy that also works well when viewed just through the web.

Re:Google maps == Google earth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20788561)

I think you're mixing up Google and Microsoft. Microsoft Virtual Earth has both a 2D (javascript) and 3D (DirectX/ActiveX) control, both of which have exactly the same API. You just write *one* javascript web page and the 3D control can automatically and seamlessly be activated.

Google Earth is totally different (KML vs Javascript) than Google Maps.

Re:Google maps == Google earth (1)

nweaver (113078) | more than 7 years ago | (#20788707)

Google maps happily takes kml

EG, see here:
Cool Eyecandy Map []
is from the kml file []

Re:Google maps == Google earth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20788841)

Are you kidding? "Ability to plot a list of points formatted as KML" is quite a different thing than ability to run a JavaScript program!

With Microsoft's API, you can write a complete map-integrated application using JavaScript, and it works in both 2D and 3D. You don't have to do anything special at all. Your users just click the "3d" button and the 3D viewer automatically gets installed (if they don't already have it), and then runs the exact same app. Nothing even remotely close to that is possible with Google's API - at least, not the last time I looked at it. Google Earth takes KML files as customizers, but can't run the same JavaScript programs as the 2d control.

Google Maps...but. (2, Informative)

omibus (116064) | more than 7 years ago | (#20787995)

I've used Google maps because of the more favorable licensing terms with google (you get more for less).

But I would look around for an control that wraps the api. There was one on the code project that doesn't work anymore.

Microsoft Live Maps might have a wrapped api for you that could reduce the development time.

Obviously I am going to go with Google! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20788027)

Duh, I mean... M$ is evil. Who wants to work with evil? Then again, both companies are American... so they are both evil. Crap! Now I don't know what to do!!!!!

It's simple. (1, Funny)

dynamo (6127) | more than 7 years ago | (#20788029)

Who do you trust more? Microsoft, or Google?

Data (3, Informative)

Kiaser Zohsay (20134) | more than 7 years ago | (#20788031)

Maps are all about accuracy. Microsoft has more coverage with high res imagery (I can see my house from here!) but some of their street data is several years out of date.

For example [] , when I-74 was built, McKinney Road was re-routed to Hwy 601. The map has the correct positioning for I-74, but it still shows the old path of McKinney Road, even though the new path is visible in the image.

On the other hand [] , Google shows the roads correctly, but you can't zoom in the imagery nearly as close.

So its a matter of priorities. Do you want accurate or pretty?

Re:Data (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 7 years ago | (#20789073)

You are restricting yourself to a small patch of earth.
Google shows all of The Netherlands and Denmark in hi res, Microsoft barely recognises these countries.

Ummmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20788033)

Don't use .NET?

Maps, maps, maps.... (1, Offtopic)

Bomarc (306716) | more than 7 years ago | (#20788117)

With Google's new "change the route" - it's cool. Yahoo's maps (old) is better, the new one has issues with moving the maps around (It frequently wants to go back!).... Mapquest sucks (Honest Question: why does anyone use it? - have you seen any of the other map tools?) Yahoo maps also lets me type in notes when I print out the map to actually _drive_ somewhere.

Why pick at all? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20788127)

Why not just right an abstraction layer so that at the end you can just replace the backend with whatever API suits your needs - the only time I can understand not writing an abstraction layer for an 3-rd party API is potentially when working with open source code (depending on the license).

Actually niether (3, Informative)

mhollis (727905) | more than 7 years ago | (#20788139)

I set up a website for a brick-and-mortar store about seven months ago on my Mac. I then went to Google's maps and provided a link for directions. Then Google quit working with Safari browsers. Now, I know Apple's browser has its problems and has so many that many Mac users are not using the Apple-supplied beta browser because of problems with their release version but I cannot afford for anyone to not be able to load a map due to a problem with someone's map API. So I switched the website to use Mapquest. []

Yes, I know that Mapquest is a slag-heap of a company since AO-Hell purchased it. I also know they're not innovating, they're just resting on their laurels and being used to provide AO-Hell with cash. But it works with all browsers I tested on Windows and Macintosh platforms, including some pretty obscure ones like iCab and Netscape's Navigator 2.0. Unless of until I get absolute assurances from Google that they'll never roll out new code again unless they test it first, I'm not using Google Maps for anything.

Haven't tried Microsoft's. Probably won't either as they won't work well with Macs or Linux or Unix and I cannot afford to disenfranchise anyone.

Google works with Safari... (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#20788285)

What wasn't working with Safari? I've not had problems with any maps or links to directions...

Re:Google works with Safari... (1)

doktor-hladnjak (650513) | more than 7 years ago | (#20788415)

I agree that Google Maps does work with Safari. Last time I tried though, did not unfortunately.

Google (1, Insightful)

spykemail (983593) | more than 7 years ago | (#20788141)

I'm not going to tell you which one to go with because most of their merits have already been covered, but I will say this: you should not simply choose Micro$oft because you're already using a lot of their technologies. Look at the actual merits of each and choose that way - not by which company has a stronger death grip on certain markets.

Re:Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20788431)

yeah, your post doesn't scream bias or anything. it's fucking pathetic that this is modded up. what a bunch of drones. drones have no place in technology. we need thinkers, not goosesteppers.

"Doing your website" in a programming language (2, Insightful)

yelvington (8169) | more than 7 years ago | (#20788289)

The organization that I work for is going to be redoing our website in .Net/AJAX.

This is sooooo 1999.

You should be using a CMS/framework where such issues have been resolved, [] and focus your time/energy on the (few) places where you can create unique value.

I'll recomment google maps (2, Informative)

hamoe (260438) | more than 7 years ago | (#20788315)

I have not used Microsoft's mapping service, so evaluate it separately of course... however, I have a lot of experience with the Google Maps API. You can expect your code to keep on working, firstly. They recently added a number of features, and now you need to instantiate a GMaps2 class because they were concerned about their legacy users. Their API is extremely easy to use, and is intuitively set up. Go to their documentation [] and check out some of the basic examples and look at the API docs for a minute. It has been a pleasure to use in my experience.

Also, if you need to do anything more advanced, you can use your own map tiles, and they provide nice methods for doing lat/lon -> pixel conversions if you need to render and cache some data that will overlay on the map. This is relatively new for GMaps, and I'm not sure if Microsoft's service offers this or not..

Who will be using what you develop? (2, Informative)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 7 years ago | (#20788349)

Do you need wider browser support than just Microsoft's IE?

Google endeavors to support a much broader range of browsers than any of the Microsoft websites support. Give the users of what you are developing a choice, don't force them to use Microsoft's IE in order to take advantage of the functionality of your website.

Depends on location (1)

dindi (78034) | more than 7 years ago | (#20788363)

It wasn't really specified in your question where the locations are.

While google maps have satellite images all over the planet (and maps for many places) the time I tried both, Microsoft totally lacked any images of the country I live in now (Costa Rica).

Since at the time I was working on a site that needed local satellite maps and some from other Central American countries I had to select google maps.

Your mileage might vary, and in the last year MS maps might have changed.

Just my 2c, if you are US only then this comment does not concern you (unless you decide to outsource/etc all in a sudden).

Why bother asking ... (1)

IchBinEinPenguin (589252) | more than 7 years ago | (#20788387)

... a "do no evil" vs. "root of all evil" question on /.?

Try them both (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 7 years ago | (#20788427)

Why not try them both? And whichever one you choose, see if you can make your software flexible enough that should a switch be necessary, it will affect as little of the app as possible.

Define your goal. (1)

The Cisco Kid (31490) | more than 7 years ago | (#20788473)

I've used services that use MS-based maps, and Ive used services that use Google-based ones. Due to them working horridly if at all, I generally dont ever go back to the MS-based ones.

If your goal is to provide a standards-compliant service that works well with a wide variety of clients, use Google.

If your goal is to support Microsoft's goal of controlling and dominating everything to the exclusion of anything else, and to hell with compatibility or interoperability, then by all means use MS.

TeleAtlas vs. Navteq (1)

rehevkor5 (594051) | more than 7 years ago | (#20788475)

If I were you, I'd determine whether MS' API uses Navteq data, which is of higher quality than TeleAtlas which is what Google's API provides.

psst, just because they are free, you are not (1, Troll)

Locutus (9039) | more than 7 years ago | (#20788549)

MS may give you the apps for almost free by know that you are basically caged in by accepting. I've even heard that local libraries get cheap software from Microsoft but are restricted from using any open source software in the contract. Not sure if that is the same deal you got but either way, know you are in a cage when using Microsoft software. And just because you have company in there, it does not justify the fact you're still caged. IMO.

also, WTF? You picked Microsoft because "everyone else uses...blah blah blah" so why are you questioning the Google mapping API choice? If you follow your previous logic with the mapping API's and you even said yourself that everyone else is using Google. So use Google already instead of posting this silly question to /. or are you just looking to stir the /. pot up? Maybe you're looking for some fodder for an article or something that'll get you page hits in a ZiffDavis web site or blog? Like I said, WTF over?


Redfin dev blog (3, Informative)

|/|/||| (179020) | more than 7 years ago | (#20788591)

Here's a comparison [] that I saw a while back on the dev blog for

License (1)

Snap E Tom (128447) | more than 7 years ago | (#20788653)

This information may have changed since early last year, so caveat emptor. I researched both for a project for our company. The project involved using one in an app that we would resell. We ended up scrapping the project, but we would have went with Microsoft Live for the simple reason that they were working towards offering an enterprise license that allowed us to resell. Google, on the other hand, never had an interest in talking to us about licensing and never deviated from the party line of "your service must be free for all blah blah blah."

From a technical standpoint, both were easy to use once you spent a few hours looking at the docs and examples. That was pretty much a wash, we thought. Other things to consider was that Google offered geocoding, while Live didn't (we setup a server using Tiger census data for that), and I think one of the two offered better directional services (can't remember exactly). If you are looking for features beyond just pushpins on a map, take a good look at the features, too.

OpenLayers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20788683)

I use neither for web mapping... OpenLayers is an open-source JavaScript widget that allows me to easily combine my data with tile sets from *all* the vendors - Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Nasa Worldwind, WMS layers... you name it

google maps vs MS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20788793)

I've worked in a .Net shop for three years and pretty much we always stick with MS. I will say that we tested both google maps and the MS within our environment and had no problems with either. However, our useres did have issues when using MS with certain browsers, so we offer a google maps alternative for the ones who have goofy browser issues.

Geocoding is better in Live (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20788989)

In my experience, the geocoding quality in Google Maps is not too good. In some cases a disaster. They have a long way to go until they can compete in that regard with MS Live Maps.

First Mistake (a deliberate semi-troll 8-) (1)

IBitOBear (410965) | more than 7 years ago | (#20789087)

Er, doing anything with dot-net...

I know, what a lightning rod for the flame wars, but my position isn't without reason.

Seriously, this platform is based on the idea that a person wanting to compile a program in a reasonably provable languages just cannot live without "system calls" written in visual basic. But having made that mistake, the question of which mapping API to use is valid.

In terms of integration, you will be more happy using the MS maps API. I know this sight-unseen because I know some of the people responsible for the work in dot-net. I have heard about what is and isn't tested to work with what, and lots of "it would be funny if people weren't using this for important work" stories about the whole "framework" (which seems to be MS speak for "arbitrary collection of whatever we could find to plug the holes).

In short, because of technical shortcomings in the language platform, you are _less_ likely to run into problems accessing an MS API from dot-net than you will be accessing a non-MS API. In the MS case you may benefit from testing and you probably(*) wont run into cases where the "framework" deliberately sabatoges the API.


(*) I say probably because I know, abet second hand, that Windows-ME was largely an aggressive act to sabotage the Win2k effort. It wasn't just bad, it was _designed_ to invalidate many of the things the Win2K team were developing. That is, for purely personal and puerile reasons, the head of the ME team used his knowledge of the Win2k efforts, and his personal dislike of the Win2k project lead, to craft APIs that would break things like Plug-n-Play. Since MS will _never_ discard a bad interface (since they want 100% backward compatibility from future projects) this let the ME team "Beat them to market" with interfaces that deliberately sabotaged the upcoming effort. -- SINCE these same people pulling these same games are still at the company in question, you never know when one MS API/Framework/etc will be secretly designed against another.

Yay for having mendacious personalities in charge of your mono-culture.

And good luck and all with your efforts.

(Bonus Fire Wood: Nobody who has been an MS "Strategic Partner" has survived the experience, so why do people desire that state?... discuss... 8-)

Bad for you (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#20789145)

"The organization that I work for is going to be redoing our website in .Net/AJAX"

Welcome to a big, endless swamp that is web 2.0. Noone knows what it is, everyone talks about it.
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