No doubt, Google Maps is the most famous web mapping service on the Net. But what would you do if it suddenly stopped functioning? Let’s find out what alternative services you may use on your desktop or portable gadget to find a direction or a bus route.
Yahoo! Maps is one of the best alternatives to Google Maps. The service was launched in 2007 and since that time the amount of its fans has been growing rapidly. Yahoo! Maps provide the same free services and Google. You can search for necessary directions, find a location and get information about nearby services and businesses. You can also check information about current traffic situation and plan your journey in accordance with it.
Bing Maps appears to be a competitor to Google maps. Created by Microsoft, this map service allows its users to get information about almost 70 cities worldwide. Here you may get all the necessary information about how to get to a particular place by car or by public transport, check local services, get 3D view of a city and many more. The service also provides a unique feature – a ‘bird’s eye’ view, which gives aerial views from a number of angles.
As follows from the name, WikiMapia belongs to Wikipedia and lets you search for all sorts of maps like satellite or hybrid maps, in addition to terrain and panoramic ones. WikiMapia is run by volunteers what means, that if some data about your place is incorrect, you may easily change it in a form of a note, thus helping people who are visiting you city. You don’t need to have any registration to add a note. However, it will be reviewed by the moderators to prevent any kind of mistakes.
Not available any more
Having acquired 3D modeling company Earthmine, with Here, Nokia has created a free challenger to other mapping services. Although now it’s available for a strict number of American and European cities, Here gives useful information about locations and provides a variety of maps such as 3D maps (that are very nice indeed), terrain and satellite maps. A big part of the Here experience is helping users get to the places that might be of interest to them. Once you run the application, it shows all the points of interest that are near you.
Available for iPhone, iPod, iPad
Apart from other mapping services that mostly use satellites to build their maps, Cyclomedia uses its own cars with special cameras on top. They capture city, states and country images and combine them with exact geo orientations. The quality of the pictures seem to be really good. You may also contribute to Cyclomedia by capturing the place where you live or stay. To cut a long story short, the idea of this site is pretty interesting although it requires a bit of further work.
What other map services do you use?