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? Leer más “8 Reasons Why We are So Obsessed with Celebrity”

Al margen de la ley

Casualmente, el otro día tuve un problema con un portal de venta de entradas online. Hará aproximadamente cuatro meses puse a la venta un par de entradas de un concierto al que no voy a poder asistir. Después de un par de semanas, regalo esas entradas a unos conocidos. Busco la baja y no la encuentro. Llamo al portal para pedir que me den de baja. No recibo ningún mail de confirmación de baja. Dos días más tarde, recibo un correo en el que se dice que mis entradas no han sido vendidas. No contesto. Pues bien, la semana pasada me llaman de este portal reclamándome las entradas. Les explico lo que escribo y me dicen que tengo que abonar el coste de dos entradas similares, ante lo que me niego.

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. Leer más “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: Leer más “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. Leer más “Six things about deadlines”

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

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.

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. Leer más “Social Media Marketing Human Factor: Finding the right person for the job”