Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Google maps... still not quite there

For all of the big hubbub the "My Maps" feature on Google maps has made, it seems like Google Maps (and all mapping sites now) are still lagging in functionality.

1) Paper - The main functionality that I and most people know who use a mapping website is printing driving directions; however, all mapping websites so far have pretty lousy print functionality. Why do all mapping websites assume that (lone) drivers will be able to hold a stack of papers and flip through different pages while they are driving? Personally, I'd prefer one or two sticky note's worth of directions; in other simplify the list of turns, simplify the map, make them all large-font for easy glancibility and put them all into small notes that drivers can use. (I've yet to use the service, but Scrybe seems to be going in the right direction in integrating the web with the physical world)
Along these lines, HP apparently is looking to take on this issue: NYTimes article

2) GPS integration - Extending on point 1, I realize that wireless is not so prevalent yet on the highways, but why haven't we at least heard about any inroads about combining a maps service with a GPS device?

3) Customizing routes - My maps is all good and simple, but I would really like the ability to let Google figure out driving directions first and then modify it to circumvent traffic in a certain area or to go around a construction area that all of the locals know about.

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