Yahoo Maps rolls out a bunch of new features

Calling it their “summer-time refresh“, Yahoo has released a bunch of updates for Yahoo Maps.  They include:

  • Improved Local Search integration that utilizes the Search/Direct Display Index
  • More user-friendly Driving Directions – a more user-friendly left rail that’s both wider and more legible (larger text), for easier reading of driving directions
  • A redesigned Print Page
  • The ability to minimize multiple driving direction instructions to save vertical space
  • The ability to display inline turn-by-turn images for each driving direction segment
  • An Interactive Print Page Map
  • Users can now select from a variety map views (full route, full route + finish, full route + start + finish)
  • Drag/Pan/zoom functionality for print page maps
  • Interactivity between Points of Interest (POIs) and Map view; minimized POIs are removed from the map view
  • Improved POIs – with ability to minimize/collapse multiple POIS to maximize viewing area

As with their past updates, it’s very nice.  Nothing to make me switch, but certainly a good set of new and updated features.

Creative tool added to Yahoo Local Maps

Yahoo has just added a simple, innovative “search circle” tool to their Local Maps, which help you quickly narrow down the geographic area that you’re searching.

If you click on “expand map” after a search, you’ll see a blue circle appear on the map.  The results are only shown for locations within that circle.  You can resize and move the circle wherever you want, and the results are updated as you move.

As you resize the circle, the radius is constantly updated (in miles), and the map will automatically pan if you hit the edge.  It’s a neat tool.

More information and additional screenshots can be found on the Yahoo Local & Maps Blog.

Yahoo updates imagery for most of the United States

Not to be outdone by Google and Microsoft, Yahoo has updated their imagery for most of the United States.  While it’s still simply 2D maps, they’ve updated a ton of imagery.

Since it’s inception, Yahoo has added over 500 cities across the world, but today has seen the biggest change ever in their US data.

According to the Yahoo Local & Maps Blog, they’ve gone both wide and deep:

Going wide, we’ve made big improvements in our wall-to-wall coverage of the United States, improving our back-drop data for a number of complete states, including California, Oregon, New York, the Carolina’s, and numerous other states in the west and midwest.  State-wide, you’ll see an improvement in freshness, color and clarity.

Going deep, and I think more importantly, we’ve enabled up to 2 extra zoom levels of aerial photography and satellite imagery for the Satellite button for hundreds of cities around the US.  Not only can you see more detail, but in many places the imagery has gotten a welcomed refresh as well.

It pales in comparison to the new features that Microsoft has rolled out, but it’s nice to see them continue to press on.

Lots of updates to Yahoo Maps

Yahoo Maps screenshotYahoo has been pretty quiet lately about their Maps, compared to Google and Microsoft.  Today they finally have some news.

As reported by Search Engine Land and posted on the Yahoo Local & Maps Blog, here is what has been added:

  • New Neighborhood Data at lower zoom levels with:
  • > 300 cities with new neighborhood data added throughout North America, from Palo Alto, to Chicago, to Toronto, etc.
  • > 12,000 new neighborhood added, from “Lower East Side” (New York, Milwaukee, Bridgeport) to “Lower Collegetown” (Ithaca)
  • Expanded Worldwide Coverage with much improved coverage, especially throughout Eastern Europe
  • New POI information – highlighting Schools, Rest areas, Ski Resorts, etc.
  • Additional shaded relief levels worldwide
  • City label density increased for better usability
  • Style improvements such as Hybrid Road and Label colors adjusted for better legibility
  • Lighter map tiles – with an average of 30-60% reduction in size

Nothing too exciting in there, but it’s pretty nice update nonetheless.

Yahoo Go 3.0 released, with a nice version of Yahoo Maps

Yahoo Go MapAs reported by Mobileography, Yahoo has just released Yahoo! Go 3.0.  Among the many features in this new mobile suite is a pretty good version of Yahoo Maps.

In my brief testing, it seems very similar to Google Maps Mobile, though I give a slight edge to Google. Their app seems to load tiles a bit faster and it’s much smoother when moving, but they’re really very close.

I’m hoping this release forces Google to bring out more mobile products, or at least enhance their existing ones.  Google Maps Mobile is great, but certainly could be better in a few areas.

If you have a compatible phone (and if you have a non-iPhone that can access the web, you probably do), go check out Yahoo Go and leave your comments below.