Mohamed Mansour's Personal Website
Google introduces Real-Time traffic Nothing new!
Posted on March 1, 2007, 11:22 am EST
Google recently released their new maps service which adds real-time traffic to their existing product. The hype of the internet laid their eyes on that, but I don't get what the big deal is. Yahoo and Live have had this feature for ages. Not only traffic but with a complete set of tools with incidents, traffic information, constructions and many more.
I am not here to flame any company, I highly respect all companies, especially Google! Google has changed the way we look at the modern internet age. I am here to inform that, not only Microsoft takes ideas from companies. Big companies like any big open source company, as well as Google has taken ideas from other companies. That is the beauty of competing. For instance, Google has taken the best of Yahoo and the best of Live into their existing product, but personally, it still needs more work. Actually a lot more work. They have the power and resources to prove to the world to think of something new and better
Microsoft Live, and Yahoo Maps had traffic for a long time now. So I don't understand all this hype that Google has Traffic enabled and their interface is very very poorly done!
Yahoo shows small circles along the roads so you can see the street names, have details about incidents and "Live traffic" is actually a checkbox, so it doesn't look confusing like in Google Maps. Google Maps just placed the exact same toggle button which took me some time to find out its a toggle.
Like Microsoft, Yahoo shows details about the colors and the time when the data was updated. But, Google has no legend about this. Like Microsoft, Google has roads colored. Like Microsoft they have an overview traffic view from a higher level. Like Yahoo, they have many many other similarities.
The point is, not only Microsoft is getting ideas from other companies, but Google is doing a hella great job doing the same! Even open source communities doing the exact same thing, well I do the same thing as well :p That is how we improve on technology, we find something which is great and we improve on top of that!
I hope Google improves on top of their existing product, cause I don't see anything special from it other than the Google logo!
The only feature I enjoy from Google Maps is their ability of scrolling. When you start scrolling, a target icon shows on the map which assists the user that the scrolling will appear in that area. The other map services scroll in the center, which in my opinion, is not efficient. Other than that scrolling, the other map services (Especially Yahoo) are better in terms of quality and content.
LIVE Maps is totally unique. They have a fully interactive map application. You can interact with it as if your interacting with an application. You can pinpoint your existing location from your pc or laptop via GPS or IP. Microsoft imitated Yahoo maps to add this powerful feature for finding the shortest path or shortest time route which is super useful. You can add objects as well as information such as notes, plans on the existing map. The extra gadgets on the screen is movable as well which make its interface very unique and in my opinion one of the best.