Technology with attitude

MapQuest vs. Bing Maps – Web Map Services Compared

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Are you making plans for this winter? Do you want to spend the holidays on a ski slope, with your family? Then, you’ll travel to a Mountain Resort, most likely by car and you won’t know the roads, so you’ll need to install a mapping application on your phone, to guide you to your destination. We’ve stopped at two known web map services named MapQuest and Bing Maps and we’ll tell you more about they’re capable of.

MapQuest

This web mapping service is owned by AOL, a company that was founded in 1967, but it was a division of R.R. Donnelley & Sons and it became independent in 1994, changing its name to GeoSystems Global Corporation. The service was officially launched in 1996 and four years later, it was acquired by America Online, Inc. Company.

MapQuest has a lot of features, offering GPS, voice navigation, live maps and live traffic updates, so no matter where you’re going, you will get directions to reach a location safely, being informed if there are accidents in your way so that you’ll get alternative routes etc.

The application has an estimated time of arrival, it books addresses and gives automatic re-routing when the traffic is jammed, taking into account any available nearby route. The users are voice-guided to get to their destinations and they are informed when they are approaching restaurants, hotel and other important places.

There users have also the possibility to order food through GrubHub and they can compare gas prices from the gas stations in the area.

Bing Maps

It was launched five years ago and it’s a part of Microsoft’s Bing suite of search engines and it’s somehow a response to Google Maps (the old users know it as Microsoft Virtual Earth). It has also tones of features and we’ll tell you a bit about them.

Street maps – the application contains some points of interest built-in which people are interested in, such as hospitals, metro stations or even stadiums, but they can also browse public user-created points of interest.

Road view – it’s enabled by default and it gives the users vector imagery of roads, buildings and geography.

Aerial view – it offers satellite imagery of the Earth onto the map and the most important roads are highlighted, so they can be easily identified.

Bird’s-eye view – it shows images which are taken at a 45 degree angle, so that the users will see many details such as the sides and roofs of buildings, signs, pedestrians etc.

The users are able to zoom in and out on the maps and when searching for a place, the results are displayed as text in floating popup windows.