Thursday, July 13, 2006

Google Maps: now with zoom, but still broken

The official blog for the Google Maps API announced yesterday the addition of a new feature to their Map badge: continuous zoom. You can test this out on

At this point, I think choppy zoom would be better name than continuous zoom, as effect as I experience it is far from smooth.

Still, adding zoom is a laudable improvement. But here is something else I would like to see in Google Maps: good maps. Look at the two maps below: the one on the left is from MapQuest, while the one on the right is from Google Maps. Those of you who are familiar with the area know that the two main cities in the Monterey Bay are Santa Cruz and Monterey. Did you notice that they are both missing on the map from Google? I think everyone will agree that a map of the Monterey Bay that fails to show where Santa Cruz and Monterey are is quite a bad map.

If you look carefully a those two maps, you will find other ways in which the map from MapQuest is superior. For instance, the 17 mile drive along the coast going to Carmel, a major attraction in the area, is shown by MapQuest, but there is no even a sign that is a road there on the map from Google. Let's call this room for improvement.

Comparison of MapQuest and Google Maps

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