Thursday, November 03, 2005

Yahoo! Local Maps Beta

Yahoo! has come out with a Beta Version of its local maps feature. Its a very neat interface. Its based in Flash. Now, I think this is good because it provides a very neat interface that is very responsive and rich. But at the same time I see it as cheating because I've always seen Flash as not a true web standard and design. I mean, it has its place, but I think they used it so they could quickly jump into the frey of leading map providers (Google Maps and Virtual Earth).

Speaking of leading map providers...what the hell is MapQuest doing in all of this? They used to be my favorite place for maps and now Google and the rest came along and have kicked the crap out of MapQuest. Their interface has changed slightly, but the maps are no where near as interactive as the other competitors. And they don't provide satellite images (Yahoo! maps beta should add that too). I hope MapQuest is working on something big, otherwise they should just shut their doors because their interface right now doesn't hold a candle to Google, Microsoft, and now Yahoo.

Anyways, back to Yahoo! Maps Beta. I really like the little overview map in the upper right of the interface. The fact that you can navigate using it and get a high level idea of what you are looking at is quite beneficial. I think others should copy it. Who can make a better version of it? I love this competition between these guys, its making these map providers create better and better apps. Ahh, to be a consumer in today's tech environment is awesome.


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