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Author Topic: What is the best map service to use?  (Read 1262 times)

TMETSJETSYT

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What is the best map service to use?
« on: August 17, 2022, 09:50:03 AM »

Hi guys, just wondering, what navigation/map app do you guys use? Personally, I use Apple maps for navigation/road trips, but for street view on my computer I use Google maps, but for street view on my phone, I use Google Earth. Just wondering your guys opinion on what the best mapping app there is and what you guys use.
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BlueOutback7

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Re: What is the best map service to use?
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2022, 09:53:29 AM »

I usually use Waze when I’m taking road trips. They always come up with good shortcuts to avoid traffic backups.
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1995hoo

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Re: What is the best map service to use?
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2022, 10:00:12 AM »

This answer will sound wishy-washy, but it really depends on what you need for a particular purpose at a particular time.

For example, if I am sending directions to my wife or my mother, I will use Apple Maps because it makes it easy to share the directions such that I know they will open properly on both of their iPhones (especially if I'm sending walking directions). But if I wanted to send directions to my brother, I would not likely use Apple Maps because he has an Android phone (while he does have an iPad Mini, I don't think he uses that outside his home).

I find Google Maps on a PC the most convenient for plotting multiple-stop itineraries and for adjusting the route if I want to use a specific road or similar. The Google Maps app doesn't seem to allow for the same route customization, which is why I specify "on a PC."

I don't use Waze. I tried it and among other annoyances, I found the cartoonish interface distracting and cluttered. My wife's Acura TLX, which is now our primary roadtrip car, has access to traffic data as part of the navigation system, so that serves the same function Waze would with the added benefit of not having the distraction (and possible legal violation in some states) of handling a phone while driving.
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abefroman329

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Re: What is the best map service to use?
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2022, 10:11:34 AM »

Google Maps - it does a fine job routing me around backups, and it appears to have some of the same features as Waze (warnings of speed traps, speed cameras, etc.).  I'm not even sure if Waze is supported by CarPlay - if it's not, it would be a non-starter.

The only time I've ever used Apple Maps was back at the end of 2012, when Apple decided to get rid of the Google Maps app.  That whole situation was such a fustercluck that I'm not going to rely on Apple Maps again.
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Re: What is the best map service to use?
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2022, 11:03:27 AM »

Even on a Mac, I find Apple Maps inferior to Google Maps with two exceptions:

1. Apple Maps is an app, and Google Maps is a website. This means that Google Maps clogs browser history. Because of this, I pretty much always use Google Maps in private browsing mode to avoid clogging history.

2. Apple Maps's transit layer is better than Google Maps.
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skluth

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Re: What is the best map service to use?
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2022, 11:25:24 AM »

I never used Apple Maps until last year when I switched to an iPhone. I dislike Apple Maps and mostly use Google Maps. It might just be a matter of my being old, grumpy, and resistant to change, but I don't like the way it looks and find it harder to read. I don't need Siri suggestions when I open Maps. I also sometimes use Waze, mostly when I go to LA or San Diego, but it's not very useful locally.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2022, 11:37:03 AM by skluth »
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hbelkins

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Re: What is the best map service to use?
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2022, 11:30:19 AM »

I usually use Waze when I’m taking road trips. They always come up with good shortcuts to avoid traffic backups.

Waze is a part of Google, so Waze and Google Maps should theoretically have the same traffic information.

Waze is a pain to deal with from a professional standpoint. They are a partner with Kentucky's Traffic Operations Center (TOC) and the goky.ky.gov site for traffic information. We send all our road closure information to TOC and also to Waze. The nature of many of our closures are that they are indefinite (such as some of the flood damaged routes we currently have in the eastern part of the state) or for an unknown period of time. Waze insists on sending a reply email asking for the date and time of the anticipated reopening. I ignore those emails, but am sorely tempted to say, "If we knew when the road was going to reopen, we would put that information in the initial press release!"

I'm an iPhone user, but I use the Google Maps app.
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1995hoo

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Re: What is the best map service to use?
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2022, 11:37:48 AM »

I never used Apple Maps until last year when I switched to an iPhone. I dislike Apple Maps. It might just be a matter of my being old, grumpy, and resistant to change, but I don't like the way it looks and find it harder to read. I don't need Siri suggestions when I open Maps. I also sometimes use Waze, mostly when I go to LA or San Diego, but it's not very useful locally.

I find the boldfaced a little bit odd because Apple Maps uses accurate route shields for state highways, unlike the generic symbol Google Maps uses. That's something I would think people on this forum would like. See below from a 2017 thread about whether online mapping sites (misspelled in the thread's subject line) should use accurate state route shields. (It would look a little different if I took similar screenshots today in part because I now use Dark Mode.)

.....

Are there any other states that put their shield (or something similar to their shield) on their state maps instead of ovals?

Virginia has always done that, but then, our state shield is an easy one.

I've always thought the accurate shields in Apple Maps look pretty good.

 
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
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"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

Scott5114

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Re: What is the best map service to use?
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2022, 03:19:08 PM »

I use paper maps for reference when driving. Much easier than having to fiddle with unlocking the phone, going to the Google folder, pressing maps, panning around to where I need to the map to be, etc. while trying to drive. If I don't have a paper map of the area around, I draw my own before leaving.

When I am at home, I tend to use OpenStreetMap for actual map-browsing purposes. It's usually more accurate, and the map is more detailed. I use Google Maps only when I need the satellite or street view features, or if I am searching for a particular business.

The only apple products I use are those which are designed to go in my stomach.
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JayhawkCO

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Re: What is the best map service to use?
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2022, 03:31:32 PM »

Google Maps with Android Auto works just fine for me. I've played with Waze before, but with an albeit small sample size, Google Maps was more accurate on ETAs in the Denver metro.

WillWeaverRVA

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Re: What is the best map service to use?
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2022, 03:37:39 PM »

I have an iPhone but I use Google Maps or Waze.
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Bruce

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Re: What is the best map service to use?
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2022, 05:10:20 PM »

When I'm out on the road, it's Google Maps all the way. Fairly easy to manage while driving (holstered and in directions mode), and then I'm able to search for new attractions without having to consult a bunch of other websites. Traffic data is iffy but works in the metro area.

For transit, I use the Transit app, which has a clean and simple interface better suited than Google Maps.

At home, it's either Google Maps/Earth or Acme (to get OSM and Esri at the same time).
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skluth

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Re: What is the best map service to use?
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2022, 05:23:27 PM »

I never used Apple Maps until last year when I switched to an iPhone. I dislike Apple Maps. It might just be a matter of my being old, grumpy, and resistant to change, but I don't like the way it looks and find it harder to read. I don't need Siri suggestions when I open Maps. I also sometimes use Waze, mostly when I go to LA or San Diego, but it's not very useful locally.

I find the boldfaced a little bit odd because Apple Maps uses accurate route shields for state highways, unlike the generic symbol Google Maps uses. That's something I would think people on this forum would like. See below from a 2017 thread about whether online mapping sites (misspelled in the thread's subject line) should use accurate state route shields. (It would look a little different if I took similar screenshots today in part because I now use Dark Mode.)

.....

Are there any other states that put their shield (or something similar to their shield) on their state maps instead of ovals?

Virginia has always done that, but then, our state shield is an easy one.

I've always thought the accurate shields in Apple Maps look pretty good.

 

My Apple Maps looks nothing like that. The background is dark, all the roads are white, and the only way to tell a road is a major route is it MIGHT be wider. Screen space is wasted with the current temp which I can easily read on a dashboard readout. I could care less about the accurate shields as I prefer the consistency of a circle on all state routes. I also thought the traffic info in Apple Maps was less comprehensive than Google Maps. With Google Maps, I have an easy to read screen with major routes highlighted in yellow, reasonably accurate traffic info, and I don't have worry that a state's shield may make the number more difficult to read. If it has better transit info, great, but I don't use a map app during the rare times I use transit.
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thspfc

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Re: What is the best map service to use?
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2022, 11:19:26 PM »

Another vote for Google Maps
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Re: What is the best map service to use?
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2022, 10:28:24 AM »

I use Open Street Map for static map presentations and under construction roads, Google Maps for route planning & finding POIs, and Waze for navigation in my car (better speed trap warnings in Europe).

I also use Google Earth (the standalone application for PC) for satellite images, as it tends to browse a little better than the browser version, plus it has historical imagery, more overlays, and you can draw polylines on it. Those can be exported to KMZ, which can then be imported to My Google Maps for map presentation.

kkt

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Re: What is the best map service to use?
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2022, 10:03:36 PM »

Something on paper and folding, from AAA or Rand McNally or DeLorme.
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Re: What is the best map service to use?
« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2022, 07:26:10 AM »

I use Google Maps when I'm at home and want to browse a map.  But for driving/road trips, I have most or all of the relevant map information memorized before I get in the car.  For "last mile" information like "where do I go when I get off the freeway or main roads?" in places I'm less familiar with, I draw a map with just enough information and take it with me in the car.
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Re: What is the best map service to use?
« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2022, 08:13:53 AM »

I like using Apple Maps. It does what I need it to, and I'm a sucker for the clean interface. I like the way custom shields are represented and the use of MUTCD arrow heads too. They even render the red arrows for WI-32 which is so unnecessary, but I just love that they bothered to do it.



If I'm on my computer, I'll use Google Maps since I don't own a Mac.
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thenetwork

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Re: What is the best map service to use?
« Reply #18 on: August 19, 2022, 09:01:54 AM »

I'm mostly a Waze person.  Apple Maps only warns you on warns you about changes in time or routing, whereas Waze adds police/speed traps, hazards and other helpful info.

Unfortunately Apple Maps is the only option I have on my work phone and I only use Waze on my personal time.  I used it so much on my old phone some of the text and icon locations "burned into" my screen.
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Ted$8roadFan

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Re: What is the best map service to use?
« Reply #19 on: August 19, 2022, 01:08:04 PM »

I use a combination of Google Maps and Waze.
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MikeTheActuary

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Re: What is the best map service to use?
« Reply #20 on: August 19, 2022, 06:22:34 PM »

Google Maps.

I tried Waze for a long roadtrip over the summer, but the interface annoyed me, it didn't handle multistop itineraries of a sort that one might use when collecting counties, and it stuck with imperial units even after I crossed into Canada.

(I actually have Google Maps set to metric units, even in the US, left over from my efforts to become more familiar with metric units when I started working "in" Canada.)
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Re: What is the best map service to use?
« Reply #21 on: August 20, 2022, 07:26:59 AM »

I'm mostly a Waze person.  Apple Maps only warns you on warns you about changes in time or routing, whereas Waze adds police/speed traps, hazards and other helpful info.

Unfortunately Apple Maps is the only option I have on my work phone and I only use Waze on my personal time.  I used it so much on my old phone some of the text and icon locations "burned into" my screen.

Apple Maps has warned me about speed traps and hazards, and gives me the option to mark it as clear or "still here" too. This only applies when it's actually giving me directions though. And maybe that only applies when using CarPlay.
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Re: What is the best map service to use?
« Reply #22 on: August 21, 2022, 11:48:53 AM »

I use the following:

ESRI Imagery for updated satellite imagery (GMap's in my area is for some reason almost 6 years old).

Google Maps for navigation and also for tracking purposes (Google Timeline)

OpenStreetMap to check an area for anything that GMaps doesn't show (since its rendering is a bit different)
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TMETSJETSYT

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Re: What is the best map service to use?
« Reply #23 on: August 29, 2022, 07:29:41 AM »

I never used Apple Maps until last year when I switched to an iPhone. I dislike Apple Maps. It might just be a matter of my being old, grumpy, and resistant to change, but I don't like the way it looks and find it harder to read. I don't need Siri suggestions when I open Maps. I also sometimes use Waze, mostly when I go to LA or San Diego, but it's not very useful locally.

I find the boldfaced a little bit odd because Apple Maps uses accurate route shields for state highways, unlike the generic symbol Google Maps uses. That's something I would think people on this forum would like. See below from a 2017 thread about whether online mapping sites (misspelled in the thread's subject line) should use accurate state route shields. (It would look a little different if I took similar screenshots today in part because I now use Dark Mode.)

.....

Are there any other states that put their shield (or something similar to their shield) on their state maps instead of ovals?

Virginia has always done that, but then, our state shield is an easy one.

I've always thought the accurate shields in Apple Maps look pretty good.

 

I agree, I like how Apple Maps uses the state hwy shields, but the downside is they don't have street view. I know that apple is developeing street view, but it is only in places like the NYC area, and the LA and SF areas.
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Roads I have clinched- I-84 (MA-CT-NY-PA), I-78 (NY-NJ-PA), I-395 (DC-VA), I-695 (Both DC and NY), I-490 (NY), I 390 (NY), I-787 (NY), I-287 (NY-NJ), I-795 (NC), I-140 (NC), I-295 (Both VA and MD), I-270 (MD), And I am only 13 so I have much more to clinch.

1995hoo

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Re: What is the best map service to use?
« Reply #24 on: August 29, 2022, 07:47:26 AM »

^^^^

Agreed. That’s one reason I don’t think any one particular service is “best”—it depends on your specific needs at any given moment.

I will say I was messing with the street view type feature for Lower Manhattan on Apple Maps the other day and I liked the way it was in a pop out window with the map still available to allow for easily dragging the map to move the camera location. Google Street View has been, I guess I’d say inconsistent lately—sometimes getting the camera to move at all is very difficult.
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

 


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