Maps keep getting richer

The mapping war continues…

The folks over on Virtual Earth team, er, the Windows Live Local team, continue to roll out new stuff. And they are slowly making their UI more usable too (something a bunch of us have been, um, giving feedback to the team about).

Comments

  1. Most countries use the metric system out here and you guys in the states still seem to think that we should use miles and yards in our distance measurement.

    Get with the system and consider the rest of the world when making a mapping site.

  2. Most countries use the metric system out here and you guys in the states still seem to think that we should use miles and yards in our distance measurement.

    Get with the system and consider the rest of the world when making a mapping site.

  3. and yet, when I do a Google search on an address it takes me to Google Maps and shows me the location. Try that search in Live.com and I get…..no map! Not even a link to local. Brilliant!!!!!

  4. and yet, when I do a Google search on an address it takes me to Google Maps and shows me the location. Try that search in Live.com and I get…..no map! Not even a link to local. Brilliant!!!!!

  5. I’m sure that it was a concious decision on the part of their team to alienate the 1% of users who browse with Safari. Try downloading Firefox…

  6. I’m sure that it was a concious decision on the part of their team to alienate the 1% of users who browse with Safari. Try downloading Firefox…

  7. From a Firefox using metric-lover, nice job Windows Live Local!

    You don’t have to automatically beat on stuff you know guys? Look for the good qualities – it’s not that hard. To commandeer a West Wing moment, “You’re a downer, you know that? I’m calling you Deputy Downer from now on!”

  8. From a Firefox using metric-lover, nice job Windows Live Local!

    You don’t have to automatically beat on stuff you know guys? Look for the good qualities – it’s not that hard. To commandeer a West Wing moment, “You’re a downer, you know that? I’m calling you Deputy Downer from now on!”

  9. Tough crowd! what do you feed these guys around here Scoble? Razorbarb breakfast? Anyway, if you surf over and actually use the site for a moment, you’ll see that over 30 countries are now supported in Live Local. Address Geocoding, routing, vector maps…

    as for Metric or imperial units, we set a default based on the users market if we can detect it. If not, you can always override the default and simply click the (km) link after generating a route. If you’re in the US and want to force WLL to think you are in a metric market, try this:

    http://local.live.com/?mkt=en-gb

    take a few minutes to give it a try, then let us know what you really think. I’m not expecting your opinion to change, but at least you’ll feel better about things.

  10. Tough crowd! what do you feed these guys around here Scoble? Razorbarb breakfast? Anyway, if you surf over and actually use the site for a moment, you’ll see that over 30 countries are now supported in Live Local. Address Geocoding, routing, vector maps…

    as for Metric or imperial units, we set a default based on the users market if we can detect it. If not, you can always override the default and simply click the (km) link after generating a route. If you’re in the US and want to force WLL to think you are in a metric market, try this:

    http://local.live.com/?mkt=en-gb

    take a few minutes to give it a try, then let us know what you really think. I’m not expecting your opinion to change, but at least you’ll feel better about things.

  11. Steve, so why can’t an address search from live.com give me a local.live.com map of the address I searched for? Seems pretty basic to me. Are those two teams really that separated from each other? Seems it would be a smart thing to do. From the neophyte user perspective I would have NO IDEA to go to local.live.com to see a map or search for an address. Google maps makes intuitive sense. LOCAL? What the hell does that mean to the user that doesn’t even have a clue with LIVE is?

  12. Steve, so why can’t an address search from live.com give me a local.live.com map of the address I searched for? Seems pretty basic to me. Are those two teams really that separated from each other? Seems it would be a smart thing to do. From the neophyte user perspective I would have NO IDEA to go to local.live.com to see a map or search for an address. Google maps makes intuitive sense. LOCAL? What the hell does that mean to the user that doesn’t even have a clue with LIVE is?

  13. As for Safari users, as Scoble trys to educate us unwashed masses, it’s not always the numbers, but WHO uses it. If there are influential users of Safari in a company, how much will Live be evangelized?

  14. As for Safari users, as Scoble trys to educate us unwashed masses, it’s not always the numbers, but WHO uses it. If there are influential users of Safari in a company, how much will Live be evangelized?

  15. The better they make the maps the happier I am. I travel via road a lot an us online maps, but they have been wrong… a lot. I normal compare the online directions with a real road map just to make sure I get to where I want to go. It’ll be nice if online maps get good enough to where I don’t have to do this. But I must say that Window’s Live Local is a pretty nifty map which I will possibly use in the future.

  16. The better they make the maps the happier I am. I travel via road a lot an us online maps, but they have been wrong… a lot. I normal compare the online directions with a real road map just to make sure I get to where I want to go. It’ll be nice if online maps get good enough to where I don’t have to do this. But I must say that Window’s Live Local is a pretty nifty map which I will possibly use in the future.

  17. and what about the terrible name “windows live local” a name shoehorned in to the microsoft branding scheme that makes no sense for this product. are they taking any of your hints on naming scemes?

    windows live local sounds like some way to connect my home computer to those of my local neighbours to, I dunno, share windows apps or something — not even slightly like a global web-based mapping service

    that said, hey it found my house (this is how everybody tests it the first time right?). And I like that you can add pushpins (sortof) easily and email them out.

  18. and what about the terrible name “windows live local” a name shoehorned in to the microsoft branding scheme that makes no sense for this product. are they taking any of your hints on naming scemes?

    windows live local sounds like some way to connect my home computer to those of my local neighbours to, I dunno, share windows apps or something — not even slightly like a global web-based mapping service

    that said, hey it found my house (this is how everybody tests it the first time right?). And I like that you can add pushpins (sortof) easily and email them out.

  19. it still has a long way to go from an address perspective.

    Try finding the following Major League Baseball stadiums, based on their addressess:

    Fenway Park:

    4 Yawkey Way,
    Boston, MA

    You don’t get anywhere close

    Yankee Stadium
    161st St and River Way
    Bronx, NY

    again, no dice

    Here’s a fairly popluar one

    Wrigley Field

    1060 West Addison St
    Chicago, IL

    This one local doesn’t even have a clue. Hell, that address was made famous in the movie the Blues Brothers. You’d think it would at least get that right

    Guess what results I get with Google Maps? Yep! Right to the spot.

    I wonder if it’s because these addresses aren’t LOCAL to me ;-)

  20. it still has a long way to go from an address perspective.

    Try finding the following Major League Baseball stadiums, based on their addressess:

    Fenway Park:

    4 Yawkey Way,
    Boston, MA

    You don’t get anywhere close

    Yankee Stadium
    161st St and River Way
    Bronx, NY

    again, no dice

    Here’s a fairly popluar one

    Wrigley Field

    1060 West Addison St
    Chicago, IL

    This one local doesn’t even have a clue. Hell, that address was made famous in the movie the Blues Brothers. You’d think it would at least get that right

    Guess what results I get with Google Maps? Yep! Right to the spot.

    I wonder if it’s because these addresses aren’t LOCAL to me ;-)

  21. dmad,

    I am sorry to hear the address parsing doesn’t work well for you. When I type ‘Yankee stadium’, ‘FenWay Park’ or ‘Wrigley Field’ in the Where box, I seem to get right to the stadiums, no problem.

    Alex

  22. dmad,

    I am sorry to hear the address parsing doesn’t work well for you. When I type ‘Yankee stadium’, ‘FenWay Park’ or ‘Wrigley Field’ in the Where box, I seem to get right to the stadiums, no problem.

    Alex

  23. [...] MS ups the ante vs Google Maps Microsoft has announced some updates to thier Windows Live Local service (I really hate that name). Then enhancements include real-time traffic reporting and new social sharing tools. Here are the highlights: Real-time traffic flow. Customizable driving directions are now even more useful with the addition of real-time traffic flow and incident reporting provided by Traffic.com. This functionality will be available only in the U.S. release. Collections. Social networking functionality allows customers to create lists of favorite landmarks and locations, attach personal photos and save them to a Scratchpad. Collections can be saved, recalled later, “permalinked,” and shared with friends and community in e-mail or through their MSN Spaces blog. Integration with Windows Live Messenger. Sharing maps and location information from within Windows Live Messenger chats is easier. Users begin a sharing session from the Actions menu. People sharing a chat session can see and interact with the same Windows Live Local map and benefit from a shared mapping and local search experience. But what’s really got me excited is the enhancements made to Virtual Earth. Over the weekend I toyed a bit with Virtual Earth and thier map control. I was impressed with the ease of development but underwhelmed with the features. Now with the announced enhancements I might have to take another look. Via Virtual Earth Developer Blog. Place/Address lookups (Geocoding) – With a simple new Find() method, you can easily add a Where box to your application to allow users to input addresses, cities/towns, zip codes, landmarks or other locations and quickly and easily pinpoint them on the map. Support for handling ambiguous addresses is included as well. Driving Directions/Routing and Polylines – Driving directions, routing and polylines. The new route methods allow developers to quickly enable driving directions from one location to another in their application. You also can create your own custom polylines for highlighting key information on maps and imagery. Quick data-binding for GeoRSS – Now, you can quickly a simply bind data to pushpins using the standard data format GeoRSS. Just point the control at your GeoRSS file or service and it will automatically manage the process of creating pushpins and pop-ups. Public Collection layers – Even easier than creating a GeoRSS file, you can bind a Windows Live Local public collection to the control. Just build a public collection of your favorite places in your local town or a listing of your business’ locations, drop the map control in your web page using the sample code in the SDK and point it to your collection—voila, instant mashup. Built in pushpins and pop-ups – Now, you can quickly use our methods to create pushpins and pop-ups in the default style without having to design them yourselves. Of course, the very popular, simple methods for rolling your own are still there as well; so you have your choice from easy default styles to full look and feel control. MS has also made available a pretty nice interactive SDK which should get you up and running with Virtural Earth. Original heads up via Scoble. Published Thursday, May 25, 2006 2:20 PM by Jorriss Filed Under: .Net, Web Developement [...]

  24. @14 That’s fine. I can get to them that way, too. But, the fact that specific addresses don’t work makes me wonder how many other addresses don’t work? How can I trust the accuracy of what I type in as an address? What happens if I’m not searching for a specific landmark for which I know the name? Some addresses work, of course. But shouldn’t ANY address work? It’s a MAP for God’s sake.

  25. @14 That’s fine. I can get to them that way, too. But, the fact that specific addresses don’t work makes me wonder how many other addresses don’t work? How can I trust the accuracy of what I type in as an address? What happens if I’m not searching for a specific landmark for which I know the name? Some addresses work, of course. But shouldn’t ANY address work? It’s a MAP for God’s sake.

  26. Yeah except that Microsoft STOLE the Outlook add in from me. It was my fault for showing a preview to one of your employees a few months ago. Check out http://www.josheinstein.com to see the uncanny resemblence. I’m done building add ons for your products trying to make them more useful. My future products will be for your competitors.

  27. Yeah except that Microsoft STOLE the Outlook add in from me. It was my fault for showing a preview to one of your employees a few months ago. Check out http://www.josheinstein.com to see the uncanny resemblence. I’m done building add ons for your products trying to make them more useful. My future products will be for your competitors.