Wednesday, September 04, 2013

5 Reasons the New Google Maps Sucks

I really want to love the new look Google Maps with it's fluttering eyelashes and come hither eyes. But you know what I really hate the new look Google Maps.

How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways:

1. IT IS SLOW

This one really is the cardinal sin. Do you want to know how Google Maps was able to silently surface behind MapQuest and blow it out of the water? It was because it was lightning fast.

The great thing about slippy maps is that you can pan across the world and Australia is immediately there. Oh no - wait - it isn't there yet - wait a minute - ah there it is.

2. I Want Multiple Destinations

I love a lot about how directions work in the new Google Maps. I especially like the way driving, walking and transit directions are all displayed on the map and the journey times are clearly displayed.

However I want to be able to enter multiple destinations to my journey. I don't always need to just get from A to B, sometimes I need to visit D and C as well.

3. Where's the Street View?

Do you want to know where the new Street View imagery has been added in Colombia? Well you can't. In classic Google Maps you can just grab the yellow pegman and instantly visualise where Street View is available.

In the new Google Maps you have to resort to clicking on the map and hoping that Street View is available at the location you've clicked on.

4. Where's my Terrain View

I want satellite view, the terrain layer and 45° degree imagery back. Google Earth is OK but I like the option of having different map views.

5. Where Am I?

This one is probably just for power users. But I really need to be able to get the latitude and longitude of locations. I love in the old Google Maps that I can just right-click on the map and select 'What's Here' to get the latitude and longitude of that exact spot on the map. I want that option back.


This article is of course purposefully confrontational. There is a lot to love about the new Google Maps. Above all it just looks so beautiful.

The new Google Maps is in Beta and my guess is Google are working behind the scenes to add many of these features back into the new Google Maps. However at the moment the new Google Maps flutter its eyelashes as much as it wants. For now I'm staying with my faithful classic maps.

If, like me, you currently prefer the functionality of the old Google Maps to the new Google Maps then you can change back to classic maps by clicking on the 'help' button at the top right in the new Google Maps.
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