I am growing increasingly frustrated with Google Maps. In the past month, on two separate occasions, Google Maps failed to find my intended destination. What really gets under my skin is the fact that Google's competition found each place without any problems.
Example 1 My family checked out the Clarksville Station restaurant in Roxboro, NC for my sister's graduation. It's a steak-house built inside of an old train station and a couple of dining cars from an actual train. It's located at 4080 Durham Road, Roxboro, NC. Let's see what the mapping services show for this query:
- Google Maps: Only locates Durham Road, not the 4080 address.
- MapQuest: Shows the location as expected.
- Yahoo! Maps: Can't find the exact location, but interestingly enough, centers the map at the exact location. Weird.
- Microsoft Live Search: Gets it exactly right.
Example 2 My car needed service recently, so I took it to Jay's Automotive, a repair place not too far away from where I live. They are located at 3510 Highway 70 West, Efland, NC. Let's see how the various mapping services do with this one:
- Google Maps: Wow. This is so far off, it's not funny.
- MapQuest: Again, MapQuest gets the location exactly.
- Yahoo! Maps: Again, they cannot locate the address, but the map is centered at the correct location.
- Microsoft Live Search: Again, Microsoft got it exactly right.
What gets me even more steamed is the lack of aerial (or satellite) images for example number 2. Google Maps only has images beginning at zoom level 6 (levels 1 through 5 are all "unavailable"). MapQuest has color images down to zoom level 3 (1 and 2 aren't available), which is very close. Yahoo! Maps has color imagery at all zoom levels, while Microsoft Live Search has images to zoom level 3 (just like MapQuest, though the image quality is very poor).
Google needs to stop spending money and effort on cheap gimmicks like their recent Street View (is that thing worthless, or what?), and instead beef up their location database and aerial photographs. I can't even see my house on Google Maps! All the other mapping services have it, so it's certainly possible to do.
Get with the program, Google. Until then, I think I'll stick to your competition