Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Yahoo! Maps with Satellite images, Big $, and European Road now on Satellite Maps.

Yahoo! Maps now have Satellite Images. In case you have missed it, Yahoo! Maps have slowly introduced satellite images into its new Beta version of maps. It's hard for the average person to discover the satellite images as Yahoo! doesn't really advertise it as of yet. But, go to Yahoo! Maps and click on the Beta version of maps. When Yahoo! puts some of their advertising weight behind it, Yahoo! Maps will easily rival Google Maps for easy use and quality. Google Maps has a simple button that allows for a quick link and for Yahoo! Maps you can just cut and paste the url for the coordinates. Here's the Helena, MT test. I took satellite images of the capital in Helena, MT for you to compare on the different mapping engines. The reason I chose Helena is because it shows how far satellite mapping has come. It's easy to find Manhattan or L.A. satellite images, but to really map the world, a program must actually have useful and current images of places off the beaten path. Yahoo! Maps: Helena, MT satellite image. Google Maps: Helena, MT satellite image. MSN Virtual Earth: Helena, MT satellite image. As you can see by the comparison of the 3 images, Yahoo! is clear but doesn't come close to the zoom that Google has in this case. MSN is just outdated, being an image from the mid nineties and in B & W. On a personal note, I actually use MSN more than the others because even being outdated, they have more coverage across the U.S. than Google or Yahoo! But, that's changing with each passing month. But, now that it's become big business, the others are all catching up.

Online Mapping is Big Business. Here's a quick link to a Forbes article about the boom in online satellite mapping. It goes into great detail about the new rivalry of the industry and how Yahoo! Maps actually beat out Google Maps recently in usage. Click here for: Forbes Article. Europe Road Names on Google Maps. Google Maps has made a dramatic improvement to its service by adding European road names to its database. While it's not perfect or finalized, it is a start. Click here for: Google Maps Europe.

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