Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Mapping sites showdown! Part 4: Yahoo Maps

Hello and welcome to my review of the online mapping website Yahoo Maps.

This review will be broken down into the positives and the negatives of the mapping site and will compare the performance of the routing engines at the end of this review.


First we shall take a look at the positives of the mapping site.

Subject: The interface:First I will note that the interface for Yahoo maps is very easy to use, and does not have the bells and whistles that drag it down and it makes the site very responsive.

Yahoo maps is very fast on older hardware and requires no plugins to view it.

Printing options are very excellent with mini maps on each turn that are collapsible, as well as total distance travelled on each turn.

Yahoo maps has very accurate address inputs and processing. Uses NAVTEQ maps, which are very accurate.

Now let's take a look at the negatives:

Subject: the user experience: since yahoo lacks the bells and whistles Google maps or Bing Maps has, there are a few things I will outline:

There is no street view or birds eye view to assist you in location finding. I have even contacted them about this and they do not have a time frame that they will release such functionality. This would make them very strong again in the digital mapping arena.

Yahoo maps also does not have any social media interaction as well.

Yahoo maps does not have any routing options currently.

Now on to the routing engine performance!


I took my trip to MicroCenter to purchase my monitor that I am now using to write this review on. It is a good bit of a trip, but I thought it was worth it!

I sent the directions to my cellphone as a MMS message so I can take it with me since I did not have a printer at the time and I did not have a GPS unit or a phone with one. It worked and formatted very well and was very easy to read.

I did choose to drag the route, as I did not want to take the back way to my destination, However I did let Yahoo Maps do the rest.


The route was : 154.58 mi, 2 hr 32 min according to Yahoo Maps and seemed reasonable.

The timing was fairly accurate, had we not stopped at a rest area and talked to a man with his dog for a long time. (laughs)


I will display some of the routing information here for you to see how the routing engine performed for this trip. I will start at step 7 to avoid displaying my current location:

Take Left exit #44B/COLUMBUS onto I-70 W - go 70.81 mi
  • Take exit #108A-B/CINCINNATI/CLEVELAND onto I-270 N toward #108B/CLEVELAND/US-270 - go 12.62 mi
  • Continue on I-270 W - go 7.41 mi
  • Take exit #22/COLUMBUS onto OH-315 S toward COLUMBUS - go 3.86 mi
  • Take the BETHEL RD exit - go 0.30 mi
  • Turn Right on BETHEL RD - go 0.30 mi
  • Arrive at 747 BETHEL RD, COLUMBUS, on the Left



The routes that Ymaps chooses are very good by default. Seems very willing to use freeways. Steps were outlines pretty good. As you can see here the steps for the I270 stretch were broken down into 3 steps. Mapquest had 5 and Bing Maps had one, as well as Google Maps. As you can see it did give me a “continue to follow” prompt. Much better then the Mapquest telling me to take the current road and make more steps out of it then really needed. The directions were very clear and easy to follow and didn't overload you. Great for drivers.



Overall my ratings for each category are as follows:
presentation:3/5 routing performance:4/5 printing:5/5 ease of use:5/5 routing options:2/5 website performance:5/5



Recommended: Yes

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