Why Live Maps sucks compared to Google maps

The user experience of Live Maps completely sucks compared to Google Maps. It’s that bad I really don’t think they even bother testing it.


Live Maps experience:

  • go to maps.live.com. Here it redirects to http://maps.live.com.au/? which seems to fail to properly load every single time. Instead you have to hit refresh.
  • the page loads with a script error :
    Message: ‘dapMgr’ is undefined
    Line: 480
    Char: 9
    Code: 0
    URI: http://network.ninemsn.com.au/share/js/spac_adx.js
  • as I scroll to zoom, the zoom ignores where my mouse is, meaning I have to often drag the map to centre it before continuing zooming
  • once I have zoomed in, the map lacks allotment boundary details.
  • the “aerial” view seems a lot older and a lot less detail compared to google
  • there’s no context menu !!  I can’t right click and add a pushpin or get directions form or to there, instead I have to type in an address (how utterly lame !!)
  • when I click on directions so as I can add an address, the map goes back to a view of Australia, meaning I lost all that zooming and scrolling I just did.
  • If I can’t specify an address I’m rooted (as opposed to being routed <g>).  So I guess nearby addresses but then aren’t able to move them.
  • I can’t re-route directions, instead I have to try to add stops.
  • I can’t hide that directions pane


Google Maps experience:

  • No redirection. I get to choose if I use the .au one or not !!
  • Pages load first time without any script errors !! (OMG what were they thinking. How dare they actually test it !!)
  • As I zoom in, the zoom centres on my mouse and gives me a visual indication it is doing that.  (a responsive UI. What the ???)
  • the maps show lots of details including allotment boundaries. Aerial view is really good.
  • I can right click.  OMG, a “context menu” : this app must have been written in the last 15 years !
  • I can add pushpins for directions From here and directions To here
  • I can re-route the journey simply by dragging the route line.  It seems these guys have heard of a mouse !!
  • I can hide the directions pane

That’s just a brief synopsis of the very obvious user experience.  I found Live Maps totally useless for planning my afternoon’s bike ride.  Seriously Microsoft if you are going to go to the bother and expense of licensing the maps and aerial images, of setting up servers etc, then you can at least try to compete.  At present it’s just a pathetic waste of money.  Say “yes you can” or go home.

3 Comments so far

  1.   MarkJ on May 1st, 2009          

    Weird, Live Maps works fine for me and does almost everything you’ve listed. The aerial photos of Cambridge UK are great… that’s going to be regional I guess.

    Internet Explorer 7 / Windows XP

  2.   bill on May 1st, 2009          

    “almost everything” ? First, in relation to google maps there is no “almost” about what I listed

    But are you sayign when you use live maps that zoom centres in on your mouse as you zoom, that you can right clcik and add pushpins, select origin and destination by clicking on the map, re-route by dragging any part of the route to form a new node ??

  3.   Me on June 11th, 2009          

    That’d be yes, yes, no and no :P. So use google maps.