Google Maps Details Europe
Google Maps has upgraded its European maps and driving directions (per SEW and Google Blogoscoped). Side by side on a query for the Ask (Jeeves) offices in London (at the highest available level of aerial resolution), here’s:
* Windows Live Local
* MapQuest (aerial coming soon)
Ask only maps US locations currently. Here’s more information from The Map Room blog. Yellowpages.com has done a licensing deal with Microsoft’s Virtual Earth/WLL, which will integrate high-resolution aerial mapping. But it’s not live yet. I’m eager to talk to them about it.
The thing that was — and still is — truly innovative about Google Maps, beyond its original interface upgrade, is the single search box. MapQuest now offers that option too (it’s “Place Name” box), in addition to its traditional multi-box approach.
While unfamiliar to users of most mapping sites, the single search box is easier to use and much more flexible than two or three boxes. I hope that Yahoo! and Microsoft, among others, will move to this approach ultimately.
Greg Sterling is the founding principal of Sterling Market Intelligence, a consulting and research firm focused on online consumer and advertiser behavior and the relationship between the Internet and traditional media, with an emphasis on the local marketplace.