Ideas about maps, technology, & usability.

by Justin O'Beirne




3rd December 2010

Is this Google Maps’s new UI?

While browsing Google Maps earlier this morning, I was presented with a brand new UI. Here’s a brief screencast of me playing with it. (Unfortunately, there are video artifacts in the first seven seconds of video.)

Tagged: Google Maps

2nd December 2010

Google Maps & Label Readability

Why Do Google Maps’s City Labels Seem Much More “Readable” Than Those of Its Competitors?


For months, I’ve been trying to figure out why Google Maps’s city labels seem so much more readable than the labels on other mapping sites.

To me, Google’s labels seem to “pop” much more than the other sites’ labels. Major cities also seem to stand out much more. [1] And whenever you’re quickly scanning the maps, the label you’re searching for seems to stand out just a little sooner on Google’s maps.

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Tagged: Google MapsBing MapsYahoo! Mapsmap design

29th November 2010

“Our Interactive Digital Atlas”

To me, the most interesting thing about today’s release of Google Earth 6 isn’t any of the new features… but rather the announcement itself; specifically, the announcement’s very first sentence:

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Tagged: Google MapsGoogle Earth

19th November 2010

That Was Quick…

Three days after pointing out the scissors-and-comb icon given the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Google has replaced it with a music note icon:

Tagged: Google Maps

18th November 2010

Another Thought on Bing’s New Map Controls

I like this:

But… I like this even better:

Tagged: Bing Maps

18th November 2010

Bing Maps’s New Navigation Controls

Earlier today, Bing Maps unveiled some new navigation controls…

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Tagged: Bing Maps

17th November 2010

On Borders & Country Labels

I’m often puzzled by some of the design decisions I see on online maps. I want to show you a few examples using the borders and country labels of a few different mapping sites.

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Tagged: Bing MapsGoogle MapsMapQuest

16th November 2010

Mixed Signals

I was browsing Google’s maps of downtown Chicago and couldn’t help but notice several peculiarities among the maps’ point of interest icons. I wanted to share a few of them with you because they’re actually kind of funny…

(Above) The Lyric Opera of Chicago is given a scissors-and-comb icon.

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Tagged: Google MapsGoogle Maps oddities

11th November 2010

More Improvements to Google Maps

On Tuesday night, Google once again updated its map tiles, and like last time, there have been several improvements. Some of the changes, in fact, resolve many of my long-standing complaints about Google Maps.

I’ll detail a few of them below…

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Tagged: Google Maps

28th October 2010

Interesting Google Maps Updates

Google Maps was updated last Friday, and there were some interesting changes. I wanted to share a few of them with you…

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Tagged: Google Maps

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Copyright ©2010 Justin O'Beirne