MSN's Virtual Earth vs Google Maps

I was playing around with MSN's answer to google Maps and was not very impressed. They didn't even have Columbus, Ohio photographed for the satelite images (I even zoomed out quite a bit). I also tried typing in my old address and was a little confused wondering if they expected me to have both a 'What' and a 'Where'... It was not very intuitive as to how I can just jump to an address without all the search results or get driving directions without finding my target or destination first. They have a nasty bug that should have held up release. I went Newark, Ohio and tried finding all the links I could, then tried to get my same search results to show in Columbus, Ohio and it wouldn't take me there. I had to revisit the page and start all over. Baaaaad Microsoft, baaaaaad. Another show stopper is that my mouse got stuck dragging the image around everywhere I went, I couldn't get it to quit following me.

Here is some good feedback though. I must admit that I do like their 'Scratch Pad' idea and also appreciate the fact that it gets saved after I leave their site and come back later. Of course the 'blog it' link rocks in the Scratch Pad for concept alone. I do like the collapsible search result bars on the left side of the map, but when I move my mouse over the map itself, it gets unusable because I have all of the results hogging up my map as I mouse over the locations.

All in all, google maps is a little more elegant and mature in this category. I guess I'm just a little prejudice when it comes to competing with google. Please check your number and try your code again. SPEAKING OF google: they now have a cool new 'hybrid' option on their maps that layers labels and roads over a satelite image. :)

Print | posted on Monday, July 25, 2005 4:00 PM