Map wars.

Thursday, November 3rd, 2005

Okay, this just in, the do-no-evil pioneers of Google Maps has been joined in cartographic battle by the feisty newcomer Yahoo Maps!

Behold! (if you will), the javascript spittle flying in all directions! Behold the similar errors on both sites (since they use Navteq and Teleatlas for the data)…like Atlanta’s Interstate 285 perimeter referred to as only ‘state route 407’. Behold a stunningly sililar color scheme, although the further you zoom out on Yahoo, the crunkier the type looks. And behold the odd floating-ish navigator thingie that I bet Yahoo is quite proud of. Behold Yahoo’s live traffic! Behold Google’s satellite imagery! Behold twin APIs…that is, the Application Programming Interface where other developers can mess and mash and come up with odd mutant varients on these maps to their heart’s content!

For a kid (like me) who used to dream in longitude and latitude, this is almost an embarrassment of riches—that is, of course, until the massive coordination between browser, javascript, and server breaks in a fiesta of AJAX-y failure. Or, you simply move out of range of your broadband connection.

In the future, as long as you’re online, life is good. And you know where you stand. Down to a couple of meters or so.