Tag Archives: Google Maps

Google Maps Reborn

Google Maps iPhoneGoogle Maps iPhone app has reborn in the iOS App Store on 12/12/12. It should have been a big thing but surprisingly not that many people is aware of it. Or at least Google didn’t make a big fuzz about it. Interestingly enough, when I search for “Google Maps” on App Store, it didn’t even pop up in the first two pages. Bad SEO by Google or doggie trick by Apple?

About the product, my user experience on this so far is very positive. It is a mobile product and its design is optimised for mobile. In a mobile scenario we usually want to achieve a very focus objective in a very short time frame. For this case, we are not a tourist trying to appreciate the scenery. Therefore, we don’t need the 3D world in Apple Maps. (I love to view it in toilet when I am bored — and when I have WiFi, but that’s about it.) Rather, we often want to get to an unknown place via the best route. Google strikes for the simplicity around this clear user goal and that’s how it is better: With Google, things always start with Search, and so the unknown is not a matter anymore. And for the best route, they use TomTom.

I have been using TomTom for driving direction. I get the same instruction here as TomTom and Apple Maps because after all it is all driven by TomTom anyway. However TomTom does have the advantage of having the maps and routes in App because it makes the calculation much faster (and cheaper because no 3G traffic is required).

However, perhaps these points don’t matter too much after all. In reality, for the past few days I have used Google Maps 5 times and TomTom 1 time as my GPS. As requested by Jacob, I have also tried to use Apple Maps for around 30 secs and then gave up. (By the way I have also downloaded iMelway by Melway and Here Maps by Nokia and only touched them once.) My verdict is easy: I am on the road, driving. I need to be at a place that I don’t know, and that’s why I need a map. If I know where I am and where I am going, most probably I don’t even need a map. The reason why I need a map in the first place is because I need to start from Search. That’s Google. From then on, that’s all down hill. And that’s how Google wins. Start with User Experience. Start with Why. Cheers.

Google Maps iOSGoogle Maps iOSApple MapsTomTom iPhone
(The first two screens are the direct pages after typing Melbourne Airport at the search box in Google Maps. The results also cross-referenced to any saved Maps I have created on desktop with the same Google account. Brilliant! The third screen is Apple Maps, and the last one is TomTom.)

Google Street View .hk

真是後知後覺!原來香港的 Google Maps 亦已有 Street View(註) 了!害我今早花了半小時到全港各處「遊覽」!第一件事是到自己家出面條大街與公司大閘看看有沒有自己的樣子(你知啦!萬一自己的傻樣被 cap 了,咁就要搵窿捐!)。也嘗試進入菜園村 cap 圖留念,但因為找不到菜園村的大門口,故只能在外圍兜了個圈。

在尖東某戲院門外見到海雲台的海報,再加上大家穿的衣服,估計拍攝時間大概是去年的夏天至秋天左右。一些較新的道路如位於舊天星碼頭前連貫灣仔北與中環的龍滙道便未有 Street View。但這已比 Google Maps 本身較 update 了 ~ 在地圖上昂船洲大橋還未埋口呢!不過一兩年前仲誇,當時已開幕數年的迪士尼在地圖上還是爛地一塊!


Links to Google Maps

明報新聞:Google港街景圖 全球最難拍

註:在地圖左上角的黃色人仔拖到有藍邊的行車路上,讓綠圈踏進街位時放手便有有得睇!而如果在 iPhone 上看,便要先 “drop pin” 到有野睇的街上(冇的話,便拖到有的位置),按 pin 上的橙色人仔即可!