Tag: yahoo_maps

Google has rolled out a web version of Google Talk

As the title suggests, Google has rolled out a Flash based version of Google Talk called Gtalkr.

It includes a Yahoo Maps extension – as Google Maps is not Flash based – this is unfortunate because Yahoo Maps is US only 🙁

Gtalkr also includes your Gmail account automatically (you log in using your Gmail credentials), so it looks like Google are trying to make this a home page for users.

I spotted this on TechCrunch – hopefully the Google Talk blog will break the story soon!

Robin has correctly pointed out to me that the web-based Flash version of Google Talk is not a Google product – in a footnote on the base of the site it clearly says:

Disclaimer: This site is not affiliated with Google.

Time to get those eyes checked again Tom!

Google Maps – now available for mobile phones!

Google announced yesterday that they are releasing a version of their acclaimed Google Maps which can work on mobile phones!

This is a major announcement as it is the first downloadable cellphone application Google has produced – doubtless, more will follow (Google Payments for mobile anyone?).

The app works on a range of nobile phones – see if your phone is included:

  • go to Google’s GetStarted page, and
    if you are not with one of the listed carriers, choose Other from the bottom
  • Select your phone manufacturer (Nokia in my case)
  • Now see if your phone model is listed (the Nokia 6230 in my case, is listed – wohoo!)

This is the next logical extension of all the online mapping applications (Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth, etc.) – you don’t always have a pc with you, but you nearly always have your mobile phone with you – and network coverage for mobiles if far more extensive than wi-fi coverage.

I pointed my Nokia 6230 at the Google Maps for mobile site and downloaded the application onto my phone (it is a free download but download charges may apply from your mobile operator).

A couple of disappointing things I noticed about the application – there doesn’t appear to be any data for cities outside of the USA yet (despite that information being available on the main Google Maps site – obviously that data will be added soon enough as Google already has it.

Also, my Nokia 6230 is apparently unable to display Satellite images, according to the Google Maps for Mobile app – I am not sure if this is a shortcoming of the phone, or of the application.

What I did like about it is the easy numeric key navigation – each numeric key is assigned a function (Search, Directions, Move Map, etc.).

Another winner from Google Maps – where is the competition on this one?

Robin Blandford alerted me to MGMaps – another free Map application for mobile phones – this time released under a Creative Commons Licence. I tried it out and although the interface isn’t as polished as Google’s, it has the distinct advantage of maps and satellite data for Ireland, displayable on my Nokia 6230!

Link Cosmos

Scoble is disruptive!

Robert Scoble wrote a significant post in his blog yesterday calling on Microsoft and Google to Clone the Google API.

In a nutshell, Robert went to see a Microsoft customer company called Zvents (an online events listing company). When he asked them why they aren’t using Microsoft’s Virtual Earth on their site, (or Yahoo! Maps for that matter) instead of Google Maps, he discovered that:

1) The Yahoo and Virtual Earth licensing terms keep them from putting the map next to a Google advertising component.
2) There’s a perception that Google will treat companies who stick with all of its components better (maybe by giving a discount in the future, maybe by serving out better ads, maybe, by, alas, making both components better through using attention data!
3) They know that putting Google logos on their site is “cooler� and “more buzz generating� than putting Yahoo or Microsoft logos on their site (and they’d be right, heck, I work for Microsoft and I’m talking about their site).

Another example of the licensing restriction is the ip limit Yahoo! imposes on its Map service:

The Yahoo! Maps Embeddedable APIs (the Flash and AJAX APIs are limited to 50,000 queries per IP per day and to non-commercial use.

How narrow-minded is that? As Dave Winer says:

When an application starts getting serious traffic, pick up the phone and let’s figure out how to make some money. High traffic is good news, it’s something to welcome, to encourage, not something to fear!

As a result, Robert called on Microsoft and Yahoo! to clone the Google API – this would require a fundamental mind-shift for Microsoft and Yahoo! and that won’t be easy as evidenced by a comment on Scoble’s post by Jeffrey McManus (Director, Yahoo! Developer Network) where he said:

That’s not how business works. If you want this kind of thing to be free and unlimited, why don’t we start with the phone at your place? Can I declare your home telephone an ‘open standard’ and have all my friends come by and make calls at your expense? Can we order some pizzas on your credit card while we’re at it?

However, despite the initial negative comments from Yahoo!, Ethan Stock, CEO of Zvents is reporting on his blog that:

I just got off the phone with the Yahoo Maps team, and they said that tomorrow they will be removing the “non-commerical only” clause from their TOS, and that Zvents, as a commercial site, is “golden” to start using their APIs.

It is amazing how quickly one post from Scoble can start some disruption – now all we need to see is Microsoft, Scoble’s own employers, follow suit! If they want to stay in Map search, they’ll have to – don’t you just love competition?

Yahoo! new Map? Don't even bother!

Yahoo! has launched, the next generation of Yahoo Maps.

Like everything else, it is in beta, right now so any bugs found are because of that, not because they couldn’t be bothered hiring internal testers.

The site is done in Flash, which has some advantages (it looks pretty) I suppose, but where are the satellite images? Where is the hybrid view? and where is the rest of the world outside of the United States for that matter?

No, with no results outside the US and the US results less useful than Google Maps, there’s nothing to see here folks, keep moving.