Top 10 Online Mapping Tools
Ever since the first GPS device appeared, advanced mapping tools have been developed on a large scale. If you want to plan your next road trip or simply get some directions around town, you can easily find all the information you need with the tools below.
10. HousingMaps â€“ One of the most successful technology spinoffs on the list, HousingMaps is a virtual mashup of Craigslist and Google Maps. As a tool to locate real estate for sale or rent, there are few better options online. The idea is simple: extract your favourite listings, add the Google Maps API and get a visual map of the properties. Other similar mashups include Chicagocrime.org (Google Maps & Chicago crime statistics) and DoubleTrust.net (search Google and Yahoo! simultaneously).
9. Maporama â€“ This software stands out from other similar websites because of the ability to select map sizes and styles. It includes layers such as parks, commercial and industrial areas and even street numbers. For mapping the distance from A to B, Maporama provides many options, such as: shortest, fastest, by foot or by subway. Maporama is currently a premium location-based service in Europe that is rapidly spreading to North America.
8. WikiMapia â€“ The software is another spinoff of Google Maps that adds to it a wiki system, thus making it possible for users to add notes about any place on earth. You can tag a location and provide data for that spot in one of the 64 supported languages and add a link to a Wikipedia page. WikiMapia now has more than 1.5 million places marked, with new ones being added constantly.
7. Google Street View â€“ A spinoff of Google Maps, Street View has become one of the most popular and intriguing online mapping tools. The software provides 360Â° panoramic street-level views, making it possible to view certain cities at ground level. It started offering views of urban America and has now reached France, Italy, Australia and Japan. Cameras on automobiles captured views of major cities from the various countries, with some even offering unconventional or funny images from Street View. Rumor has it that Google will hire 300 drivers for Europe and start gathering more images for 3D rendering.
6. Multimap â€“ Recently bought by Microsoft, Multimap offers street level maps for the U.S., U.K. and most of Europe. You can get cash points, train station, Wi-Fi spots and parking for virtually every destination covered by Multimap. For the heavy traveler, it offers a bunch of complementary services through its partners. These include restaurants, train and hotel booking services, SMS weather alerts or the ability to buy prints of historic or aerial photographs. One other interesting features is the overlay with Wikipedia so that you can browse geotagged articles on the map.
5. MapQuest â€“ Generating maps and directions on the fly, MapQuest was an instant success from the first day it was launched, now strengthening its position as a top performer in the industry. Main features include FindIt (finds a business in a certain area), Maps (creates a location map based on an address or longitude/latitude) and Driving Directions (generates the route from A to B). City Guide offers information about shopping, entertainment and even photos of missing children in an area. For travelers, Leisure provides scenic drives, maps of National Parks and the ability to plan your trip with a personal map.
4. Ask Maps â€“ Previously using their own product, Ask.com dropped it for Microsoft’s Virtual Earth which is now used by Ask Maps, Business Search, Smart Answers and Ask City. Ask Maps offers, among others, helpful driving directions with the Auto-Drive feature, which animates your entire route. Ask City features two modes – street and aerial view – as well as the ability to look for local businesses, events or movies all across the U.S.A.
3. Live Search Mapsâ€“ The Local search engine from Microsoft has a unique pushpin feature that enables viewer-determined points on a map and makes it easy to share them with others. 3D Cities renders buildings and objects in high resolution with astonishing detail. You can export your data to any personal navigation device and see other maps generated with Google or Platial. Furthermore, you can grab a RSS feed from any location, even at neighborhood level.
2. Google Maps â€“ Googleâ€™s API may not be the best one of the market, but itâ€™s certainly the most popular, powering applications such as Google Ride finder, Goggles or Petrol Prices. There are several viewing modes (Maps, Satellite, Terrain, Street View and Traffic) and users can also search for landmarks, businesses or attractions for a certain city. The only setback is that many of the satellite images do not correspond with the present-day reality on the ground.
1. Yahoo! Maps â€“ Yahoo! has one of the richest applications when it comes to driving instructions. With a Flash interface thatâ€™s easy on the eyes, Local Maps comes equipped with multi-point directions and live traffic information. Additionally, you can enter your phone number and have the directions you need sent directly to your cell phone. Driving directions can be put on paper with their print-friendly interface.
If we ranked any of these website too low or high in your humble opinion, or forgot to put one on the list, feel free to comment!