Surprise: Yahoo Maps Gets A Facelift, New Features

Shortly after she became Yahoo CEO, Marissa Mayer declared (disappointingly) that she wasn’t going to invest in Local. It turns out that what she meant was she wasn’t going to go head-to-head with Google in Maps.

Her predecessor Carol Bartz had outsourced maps (to Nokia), and she wasn’t prepared to make a bunch of new investments in mapping infrastructure.

New yahoo maps

Today, Yahoo made something of a surprise announcement that it had refreshed Yahoo Maps and added a few new features. Those include:

  • Pedestrian and public transit routing
  • New and improved aerial images, real-time traffic and Flickr photos (with weather)
  • A design refresh for consistency with other Yahoo properties, with an edge-to-edge presentation that looks not unlike the newish Google Maps

google maps

The underlying data (and probably traffic/routing) come from Nokia-Here (the former NAVTEQ).

When it launched its new maps earlier this year Google eliminated the “search nearby” feature, which was one of the things I used most heavily on Google Maps. That feature is, however, available on Yahoo Maps, which might make me more inclined to use it.

Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 2.07.22 PM

Overall in my quick testing and comparison with Google Maps, the latter still has a superior search capability. It’s more forgiving and appears to have more data. I don’t know whether the underlying maps listings on Yahoo are entirely from Nokia-Here or from a combination of Nokia and Bing.

Regardless, I’m pleased to see Yahoo getting back in the maps/local game. There’s no Yahoo Maps app – you can access Yahoo Maps through the mobile browser – but I suspect we’ll see one in the future. That will be very interesting if, or perhaps when, it happens.

Related Topics: Channel: Local | Yahoo: Maps & Local | Yahoo: Mobile & Go | Yahoo: Search


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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  • Illa Hernandez

    I am eager to see this rolling out in Asia-Pacific and into the Philippines. Then I’ll check for the accuracy of the local transit route.

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