The same day Live Maps/VE gets the new updates, Live Maps UK redirects users to Multimap, a web mapping site acquired by Microsoft. UK users are definitely not happy.
I’ve taken a look at Multimap before, and I just took a recent look again, and I have to agree – it’s horrible! Why so? Well because:
- No scroll wheel zoom – something people kind of expect in 2008.
- Horrible map UI – It’s ugly, more cumbersome than the real Live Maps, and it’s something that makes you want to find another site
- No collections or 3D – a biggie. You can’t make a collection nor can you navigate in 3D. Thanks for throwing us to the dark ages.
- Lots of serious lag and slowness – You really notice it
- Ugly – Did I already mention that?
- Getting to Birds-eye view is hard – You like have to double click if you’re too high above. It’s kinda complicated, and change orientation view is weird.
So these users would have better luck going to Google Maps for the UK as it seems. I honestly have to agree with these angered users, Live Maps was better than what Multimap offers. Plus Live Maps fits in with the whole Windows Live branding, which I’m quite sure many UK users actually do use.
Though I’ll probably never use it, I did notice 3 things I kinda liked.
- Useful information box – Like Tube stations, Wikipedia points of interests, petrol stations, parking, etc. If you zoom and pan along a map, and the info. is there, you’ll notice the numbers pop alongside the category. Check mark it and view them.
- Boxed street and district names in directions – In the direction, street names are emphasized with a box around it, and section districts are in a green box. On Live Maps, names are just bolded. Though boxes would be a nice indicator.
- Walking directions – Some people like to walk. It’s part of the Virtual Earth update, but Live Maps doesn’t have the new walking directions feature.
But I agree, I’d rather have Live Maps and what that has, rather than dealing with Multimap. Some people are astounded that Microsoft has done nothing about it, or made any comments about it. Well they did post something on the Multipage homepage.
The blue link takes you here : http://maps.live.com/?mkt=en-us
I guess you’ll have to pretend being an American. :^)
They say they’ll have collections and 3D soon, but I’m thinking most users still WANT Live Maps. Not this contraption. It’s a step backwards from what Microsoft should be doing. You have to wonder what bonehead decided this. Instead, they should have ported some nice features like the 3 things I noted above (useful info., boxed names in directions, and walking directions) into the superior Live Maps, instead of taking some parts of Live Maps to Multimap.
I hope that for you UK users, that you’ll receive the real experience for UK soon. I heard from a commenter that he contacted one of the guys who ran the VE/Live Maps blogs, and that Microsoft is working on fixing this. At least it shows Microsoft cares. Though that’s what they should have done in the first place.
(one of the many comments complaining about the switch over to Multimap)