Sunday, May 07, 2006

The Random Curvy Line Generator: Google Maps in Europe

When I saw this article announcing Google Maps Europe, I knew I'd find maps that represent a stark contrast to the standard grid pattern of western US cities. I was also reminded of how much maps have changed over the past couple of years.

I'm in Pasadena today for a short visit. I haven't been down here but a couple of times since I lived here six years ago. When trying to find the location of our hotel, etc., using Google maps--I remembered that the last time I'd tried to find my way around on-line in Pasadena would have been with Mapquest. Anybody remember Mapquest? Even today, Mapquest and Google Maps are a stark contrast to each other. See the difference in the two images of Naples Italy, below:






Never mind the fact that the Mapquest map is polluted with ads and extraneous AOL linkage. While both maps are at maximum zoom, the Google map is simply more useful, it's navigation interface is much more graceful and elegant, and the satellite overlay is a fantastic orientation tool.

Imagine when Google Travel combines travel planning services with Google Maps and Google Local to provide you with a customized, Fordor's style travel guide with street by street maps, itinerary, and "recommended stops" (advertisements) along the way. I'm glad somebody's doing it.

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