I was geotagging some pictures on Flickr and noticed that Yahoo! Maps has dramatically improved.
Things that jumped out at me:
- Improved legibility. High contrast and easy to read.
- Subway/mass transit stations. They are the small blue circles you see on the map. Google’s icons are much clearer, but it’s a big step to have them available at all. Ideally, they would use the icons that the subway systems use in each market.
- Prominent route numbers for streets that have multiple names.
- Clear identification of neighborhoods. Now, if you could only search by neighborhood names. I’m a big fan of Web services reflecting the way people talk.
- Parking. At tight zoom levels in major cities, parking is called out.
- Clear freeway on/offramp detail.
I can’t see the old version; some of these things may have existed in the previous version and I hadn’t noticed them.
Overall, it feels much better. Still not as good as Google Maps.
Update: The Yahoo! Local blog has details on this release of Maps. Another really cool feature: the ability to request driving directions by landmarks. Here’s a route from the White House to Andrews Air Force Base. Yahoo! also adds building outlines in New York and San Francisco, similar to what Google has done on a larger scale.
Rev. Dan Catts covers flickr and the new Maps on his blog.