Bing just announced a new routing engine for Bing Maps. Bing Maps is actually really cool, it’s something I haven’t used so much since I’m so used to using Google Maps but I think I might try using it more in the future.
Funny, back in the early-2000’s, it was either MapQuest or Yahoo Maps and Google was still making a name for itself, now it seems to be a huge “go-to” when it comes to mapping. It helps when Apple’s iPhone uses Google Maps by default in their Apps. This may change with the iPhone 5 with rumors saying that Apple may come up with their backend solution since they’ve bought a few map companies, we’ll see I guess. It’ll be nice to see Apple back-off on their Google support.
GPS and Mapping have come a long way since the early/mid-2000’s. In 2004/2005, I actually bought a USB-powered GPS that I hooked into my laptop and used Microsoft Streets with the GPS. That was so cool to have live GPS navigation but it was kind of clunky to have a laptop and a GPS helping you navigate even when your friend is holding the laptop. Then Garmin/Magellan/TomTom all came out with their GPS handhelds a year later which basically made my computer USB-powered GPS obsolete (It was a good run though!)
I was looking at the different Map Platforms that the “Big 4” (Bing, Google, Yahoo, MapQuest) and they’re all so similar. I personally like Bing’s the most, though I’m biased since I’m a Bing fanboy (Granted, I don’t use their Maps Platform much, but I do use their search engine by default on my home computer and iPhone). It’s the most simplistic, it kind of goes along with the Bing theme and it’s just aesthetically pleasing. I think I like Yahoo’s the second most with its style and layout. MapQuest comes in at #3, though I’ve never been a big fan of them, I used Yahoo Maps over MapQuest back when it was basically those two Maps Platforms in the early-2000’s. Finally, comes Google at #4. It’s interesting that the Maps Platform I used the most has the style/layout that I like the least. I guess that’s Brand Equity for you.