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Google Maps vs. MapQuest – Which Online Mapping Service To Use?

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Online mapping services are now a part of our lives, saving us from unpleasant situations when we’re traveling to an unknown location and we need directions, so we won’t get lost. There are plenty free mapping applications with tones of features, but not all of them are very popular, although they’re equally efficient. The most famous application is Google Maps and in this article we’ll compare it to MapQuest.

Interface And Direction Accuracy

Google Maps has a clean interface, just like any other Google product, the users can zoom in on the map and if they have an area of interest, they will double click on the map to zoom in. There is a scale bar in the lower right corner of the map and when clicking on it, the application switches from English and metric measures. In the opposite corner there’s an icon which allows the users to choose either the Map or Earth map type. Google Maps will recognize incomplete addresses or business names, but when it comes to directions, things are bit more complicated.

MapQuest has a more complex design and the users must fill in four-item form for the address, and the directions to that location will be provided in a single box on the results page. The application will occupy the entire screen of the device and in order to get the direction, the users must scroll down.

Google Maps is better at giving driving suggestions, offering more choices of different ways to go.

Traffic Information

Google is the leader here, offering comprehensive traffic data because it covers a large number of streets. So, before leaving your office, the users will know what to expect from the traffic, if the route is congested, so that they can choose an alternative route.

It’s kind of hard to interpret the traffic data offered by MapQuest, because the overlay lines are too wide and it’s unclear which street is highlighted. There are two lines colored in red and green and when they sit side by side, it’s hard to tell which street corresponds to one of these lines.

Street View

Google has the Street View feature which shows the users an image of the place they’re interested to visit, so they will know how the destination will look like when they arrive there. However, the pictures seem a bit grainy and obscure, when looking at a 360-degree image.

MapQuest has the 360 View service which isn’t available for too many streets and the feature doesn’t allow the users to zoom into photos.