19 June 2006

Yahoo Maps Beta is Awesome

Have you tried the beta of Yahoo's Maps? You really should, as it really is the best out there right now. Google certainly raised the bar when they brought their maps out, but I almost never use it now, instead much preferring Yahoo's. Yes, it requires Flash (it was built with Flex), but that's part of what makes it a good experience.

Why do I think it's so great? Well, the feature that really hooked me was the ability to right click on the map and say "Drive from here," or "Drive to here." This is just awesome when you see it give you directions, but you know you want to use a different highway or what not. You can add additional points, or re-route using this with ease. Also, removing points is a simple click, and it auto-updates the route.

I also really like the little popup you get that looks up addresses and asks you if it's a certain business or other known entity. This is often a nice validation that you've got the right address. But, what's even cooler, is that when you select a place, it puts that in as part of your directs, and includes the phone number. Right now I've been making maps for our trip to Portland and Bend, Oregon, and this has been very nice for say the hotels and other places we're going.

One last thing that's slick, is that when you hover over a segment of the route instructions, it highlights that segment on the visual map. The whole system is just really well done, and I find it far nicer to use, and more useful. If you haven't, it's definitely worth taking a look.

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