Which Online Mapping Service Is Best? – PCWorld

Which Online Mapping Service Is Best? – PCWorld.

Bing, Google Maps, and MapQuest all have their charms, but which one will get you where you need to go with the least hesitation and the most accuracy? We examine all three and pick a winner.

Christopher Null, PCWorld

Ask anyone what Websites they can’t live without: After mentioning their e-mail service and Google, they’ll invariably point to an online mapping service as a key to modern life.

But which of the big mapping services is best? We took a hard look at three of the most popular online mapping sites–Google Maps, MapQuest, and the up-and-coming Microsoft Bing Maps–to see which one got us from point A to point B (and points C and D, if necessary) the most smoothly. Here are our findings in six test categories.

The Test: Ease of Use, Interface, and Direction Clarity

As the unofficial industry standard, Google Maps is the service–and the interface–that people measure other mapping systems against. In keeping with the design of most Google properties, Google Maps is clean and simple, and the site’s home page presents you with a single search box interface.

Bing starts you off with a bit of a puzzling choice: Search for a location in the easy-to-overlook search box, or input both a start address and a destination address in the more obvious sidebar.

MapQuest has the most complicated design of the bunch, requiring you to fill in a four-item form for your first address, and then providing a single box on the results page if you want to get directions from there.

Google Maps does a good job of handling incomplete addresses, business names, and other fuzzy or incomplete information that users may enter, but its directions are a bit Spartan.

Whereas MapQuest includes easy-to-scan icons for turning right or left or merging, Google Maps and Bing offer this information only in text form. Unfortunately, MapQuest’s map consumes the entire screen, so you have to scroll down to get the directions–and you can’t see both together. (See “MapQuest Expert Tips: How to Get Where You’re Going–and Have Fun Along the Way.”)

Though Bing is arguably the prettiest service of the three, it has one big failing here: You have to go back to the search page if you want to reverse your route; the other two services let you do reverse direction after results are shown.

(Note: A beta version of MapQuest improves its interface a bit by putting the map to the right and streamlining the address entry form.)

Scores: Out of 10

Google: 8

Bing: 7

MapQuest: 6

The Test: Direction Accuracy

None of these services offered perfect directions in every search, and sometimes–no matter which one you pick–you’ll get strange routes as a result. Most of the time, the three services agree on the basics of a route, but occasionally one of them varies wildly.

Except when we asked for directions over routes we drive daily, it was impossible to be certain about which map’s routes were best, but subjectively Google’s results seemed the quickest and most direct, followed by Bing’s, and then MapQuest’s; in a few cases we tested, MapQuest offered some unmistakably quirky driving suggestions.

We did appreciate the Avoid button that MapQuest places next to every turn, giving you the opportunity to bypass problem intersections that the service may not know about, without your having to specify an alternate route. (All three services let you do this by dragging a point on the suggested route to another street, at which point the service recalculates the route in real time.)

We also appreciated the helpful hints that Bing embeds in its route instructions, including construction notices and advice along the lines of “If you reach Main Street, you’ve gone too far.” For travelers driving in an utterly foreign area, Bing provides the best hand-holding.

But nothing beats Google’s biggest advantage here: It almost always gives you choices in the form of a collection of two or three different ways you can go, each involving a similar amount of time spent on the road.

Scores: Out of 10

Google: 8

Bing: 7

MapQuest: 6

Next: Traffic Information, Alternate Transit

Continues here:

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Brilliantly Creative Photos Captured With Great Timing

Today, we are showing you Brilliantly Creative Photos Captured With Great Timing. I appreciate to all those talented photographers who taken these excellent photos with their efforts, imaginations and creativity to give us a chance to see these photographic wonders from their creative eyes. This list is not long in numbers but I promise you that when you start browsing them in details it will surely refresh you. These are the wonder creations of photographers who use their creativity with a different angle and approach to get the result that makes a difference.

You are welcome if you want to share more creative photographs and images that our readers/viewers may like. Do you want to be the first one to know the latest happenings at  smashingApps.com just subscribe to our rss feed and you can follow us on twitter. Click on the images to go from where the images has been taken and learn more about their creators and to appreciate them.

Energy – Man and Nature Connected by David Orias

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8 Reasons Why We are So Obsessed with Celebrity

by jeremywaite

A few years ago, Piers Morgan suggested that celebrity-driven journalism was no longer the way to sell newspapers. Three years ago, a survey found that 60 per cent of adults were bored with celebrity and yet Neilson TV ratings and book sales suggest otherwise.  Why is it that we are so fascinated with celebrities? Seguir leyendo “8 Reasons Why We are So Obsessed with Celebrity”

Al margen de la ley

Sobremesa de la comida de un día laborable cualquiera. Cada miembro del departamento aprovecha para refrescar sus cuentas de correo personales y contestar a los más urgentes o porqué no, a los que más le apetecen. Un problema de uno de ellos en la configuración de alta en una página genera el siguiente comentario:

– ¡Oh, vamos! ¿Quién se lee las condiciones legales en internet?

La pregunta me saca mi realidad virtual. Atiendo a las respuestas de cada uno de mis compañeros. Todos sonríen como diciendo para sí –algún pardillo se las leerá-. Pero la pregunta no tiene nada de graciosa, porque en ese texto hay muchas cláusulas que pueden buscarte las cosquillas por no habértelas leído. Seguir leyendo “Al margen de la ley”

10 Laws of Productivity

by Behance Team
You might think that creatives as diverse as Internet entrepreneur Jack Dorsey, industrial design firm Studio 7.5, and bestselling Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami would have little in common. In fact, the tenets that guide how they – and exceptionally productive creatives across the board – make ideas happen are incredibly similar.Here are 10 laws of productivity we’ve consistently observed among serial idea executors: Seguir leyendo “10 Laws of Productivity”

Six things about deadlines

by Seth Godin

  1. People don’t like deadlines. They mean a decision, shipping and risk. They force us to decide.
  2. Deadlines work. Products that are about to disappear, auctions that are about to end, tickets that are about to sell out–they create forward motion. Seguir leyendo “Six things about deadlines”

Social Media Marketing Human Factor: Finding the right person for the job

Search for “social media marketing” on Google (or Bing) and you’ll likely end up in a black hole of Twitter guides, bit.ly retweets, social media “mavens” and Top 7 Tips for Creating a Facebook Fanpage blog posts. And it’s no wonder everyone sees the need to discuss and “explain” how social media works for the 270 billionth time. With so much discussion on the topic, you need to be a social media expert just to navigate it all.

Social MediaYet, one social media topic manages to slip through the cracks. And it’s often the first obstacle companies encounter when they decide “social media” is the answer to all of their problems:

Who’s going to carry out all of these social media initiatives?

It’s the Human Factor – who is going to create the content for that blog? Who is going to reply to all those tweets? Who is going to make sure your Facebook page doesn’t turn into a hate fest? In fact, who decides if you should have a Facebook page at all?

If you’re like many companies, you might think outsourcing social marketing is your best bet. Seguir leyendo “Social Media Marketing Human Factor: Finding the right person for the job”

Web Designs that Use Textures Beautifully

by Jacob Gube

Web Designs that Use Textures Beautifully

Using textures in a web design gives it a unique look that roughens the sharpness and crispness that you can find in most other site designs. When used properly, the results of utilizing textures in a web layout can be stunning. This collection follows up on a collection posted last year called “30 Beautifully Textured Web Designs” (which you should check out if you haven’t already) with even more web designs that use textures masterfully. Seguir leyendo “Web Designs that Use Textures Beautifully”

How to Design Your Business Card

As web designers and developers, we often overlook printed marketing materials.  But on occasion, they can come in very handy: at conferences, when we meet face-to-face with clients, or when we happen to run into someone we might want to do business with. Having business cards is a great way to promote yourself in the physical world.  Of course, since web design is a creative field, you’ll want your business card to serve as a sort of mini portfolio that displays your skills. You should put the same time and energy into designing your business cards that you put into designing a website.  And the skills necessary to design a business card can be easily adapted from those that are required to design a website. Read on for more information about how to design your business cards.

Size and Shape

Standard business cards are 2″ x 3.5″, in either vertical or horizontal orientation. Horizontal is more traditional, but plenty of people and companies now opt for vertical layouts.

There are a few benefits to the standard sizing, the primary one being that it’s generally less expensive because it’s common. The other big benefit is that it is immediately recognizable as a business card, and will fit in standard business card holders.

But just because business cards are traditionally a 2″ x 3.5″ rectangle doesn’t mean you can’t deviate from that size and shape. With modern printing and cutting techniques, virtually any size and shape can be used for your business cards.

Die cut cards are particularly popular. Some opt for a traditional rectable, but with rounded corners or some kind of cutout shape within the card.

Others opt for an entirely custom shape, often reflecting their logo or a company theme or mascot. Just remember that anything too complex is likely to get bent or otherwise misshapen, which may defeat its purpose.

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Recover Your Lost Android Phone With Where’s My Droid

Image representing Android as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

If you are somebody who forgets things easily, then your phone might have been misplaced a number of times. You need to make sure that something like that does not happen again. Phone today are quite expensive and include a lot of your sensitive data. Losing your phone, either due to your forgetfulness or because of a thief, can be a very frustrating.

Once your phone is lost, there is very little you can do to recover it. In the case of a lost phone, Android smartphone owners, at least, do not face as tough a time as other phone owners do – this is all thanks to one application, “Where’s My Droid.” Seguir leyendo “Recover Your Lost Android Phone With Where’s My Droid”

How to Make a Professional Ad – 15 Awesome Tutorials

In this article, I’ve collected some of the best tutorials on how to make a professional looking ad. If you work as a web designer or graphic designer, it’s quite likely this will be a task you get to at some point. Obviously you can’t steal any of these ads, but I am hoping they can inspire you and teach you a few handy tips and tricks. And even if you’re not a designer but just someone who’s really interested in learning Photoshop and Illustrator, this can be for you as well!

How to Make a Professional Ad

I’ve tried to gather a collection of different looks and techniques that can inspire you to develop your own ideas.

15 Awesome Tutorials

Here are the 15 tutorials. Click the images to go to the tutorial, and remember to leave the authors a comment to tell them what you think! Also remember that there are many websites where you can download free stock photos to try out these different techniques if you don’t have any pictures that fit the task.

Fragmented Golden Phone
In this tutorial you will learn to take an ordinary cellphone picture and give it a nice typographic effect on top.

Fragmented Golden Phone Seguir leyendo “How to Make a Professional Ad – 15 Awesome Tutorials”

Apartment Therapy: Calm Homes Breed Happy People

by Sarah Rapp

Organized, calm, and clean. According to Apartment Therapy founder Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan, these are the characteristic traits of a happy household and a productive workspace. And he would know: Maxwell is regularly invited into the apartments of strangers to assess their most intimate trappings – their stuff.  But it turns out that our houses and apartments are far more than just a container for our things. Rather, our approach to home has everything to do with our approach to life.Quitting his Upper East Side teaching gig in 2001, Maxwell began the business with not much more than the humble mission of “helping people fix up their homes.” Starting off, he did everything from waxing floors on his hands and knees to forcing clients to face their dreams and goals through the lens of interior design. Seguir leyendo “Apartment Therapy: Calm Homes Breed Happy People”

¿Publicitarios en grupos de comunicación? Más ideas…

A nadie se le escapa que la situación que viven las agencias, mal llamadas creativas y las centrales, mal llamadas agencias de medios, es insostenible.

El que las agencias de comunicación crean que ganan la partida es falso. En definitiva lo que quieren ser son agencias de publicidad de servicios plenos. Mal enfoque.

El porqué es sencillo.

El cliente no está dispuesto a pagar de su presupuesto de comunicación, ya no digamos un 10%, sino un 3 o 4% en concepto de comisión por gestión, servicio y creación.

El valor añadido que tenían agencias de publicidad y centrales de medios se ha perdido totalmente. Hay quien quiere reinventar la rueda y la agencia de servicios plenos  pero esa es una partida perdida.

Las estructuras de personal y conocimientos se han quedado obsoletas y el empresario no puede pagarlas con lo que le paga el cliente. Seguir leyendo “¿Publicitarios en grupos de comunicación? Más ideas…”

El verdadero valor de los contenidos

El verdadero valor de los contenidos

Cada innovación trae consigo consecuencias inesperadas, y nuevos usos y demandas, hasta ese momento impensables. No basta con tener coche, hacen falta carreteras y gasolineras, si se le quiere dar valor; la bombilla desprovista de una red eléctrica no deja de ser un artefacto curioso; y de poco vale una cámara digital si no se dispone de un medio en que almacenar las imágenes. Seguir leyendo “El verdadero valor de los contenidos”

WordPress Theme Development: Custom versus Commercial

WordPress Theme Development: Custom versus Commercial

WordPress theme development and design is quickly becoming one of the most popular forms of web development. Whether you’re building a custom theme for a client’s website or designing a theme for widespread distribution, WordPress theme development is one of the most sought-after skills in our industry currently.

As a freelance web designer specializing in WordPress, I spend roughly half of my time designing themes to release as commercial products through my company, ThemeJam. The rest of my time is spent building custom themes for clients through my consultancy, CasJam Media.

In this article, I will break down these two avenues of WordPress theme development and discuss how you, the designer/developer, might approach each situation differently. Seguir leyendo “WordPress Theme Development: Custom versus Commercial”