Hawaii Joins The Google Street View Union; Microsoft Updates Look Of Bing Maps, Adds Features
Google has now added Hawaii to Street View, making it the 50th and final US state to be included in the Maps image database. You can also get these images in Google Maps for Mobile. Google launched Street View a little more than two years ago, in May 2007. Since that time there has been […]
Google launched Street View a little more than two years ago, in May 2007. Since that time there has been considerable controversy around privacy questions but one now gets the sense that this has largely died down in most places. From early questions about its utility, Street View has become an important part of the Google Maps offering (and is integrated into the new Android 2.0 Maps Navigation). More recently Google has pushed beyond paved highways and onto trials, college campuses and zoos with its Street View trike.
- More prominent and simplified directions boxes
- Easier access to user-generated maps and images in “user-contributed places”
- Collections is renamed “My Places”
In the user-contributed maps, users can sort by categories, content and layers.
Microsoft changed the terms of service for Bing Maps for educators, developers and non-profits, essentially making them more generous. The company also released Silverlight Control for maps. I’m not able to speak to the range of technical issues here, but generally it allows for the creation of richer mapping applications.
Microsoft has a very strong mapping product that has largely been overshadowed by Google, which has done a better job of PR and communications around maps. Indeed, Microsoft offered user-created maps before Google My Maps and has a great product in Photosyth, which Google has emulated to some degree in a couple of ways. And maps is an area that Microsoft and Bing could do a great deal more with online and in mobile. They understand this too.
Meanwhile a short while ago MapQuest, the long reigning but recently deposed maps king, improved the appearance of its mapping interface. We’ll see what former Googler and AOL CEO Tim Armstrong tries to do with MapQuest, which is one of the company’s key properties.
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