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September 30, 2007

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Nick Johnson

You're missing a couple of datapoints: Does it have geocoding (can you enter an address and have it find it) and does it have routing? In general, routing is more difficult than geocoding, which is more difficult than mapping. Also, countries with non-western addressing schemes make geocoding really hard, so it's all the more impressive if they can do it for more out-of-the-way places.

Disclaimer, for what it's worth: I work for Google (though not on mapping), and until recently I worked for a GIS software vendor.

Raj Rao

It is also interesting to note the differences in imagery that Google and MS have for US itself... I find it extremely hard to categorize which company has better imagery - though both of them seem to have just as good road coverage. If you check out my latest post - http://therajahs.blogspot.com/2007/09/creating-custom-maps-in-microsoft-live.html - you will see that I have 2 examples - in one Google has better imagery and in the other Microsoft. So it looks like tools like http://www.jonasson.org/maps/ that allow you to compare the 2 maps are of immense use to figure out which company's mapping solution one should use at any given time.
Another interesting thing to see is that when you zoom out - I have typically seen that Google seems to have better imagery.... but as you zoom in - it can go either way.
But as far as searches go - MS seems to return a lot more relevant searches for the US atleast.

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