Sunday, May 03, 2009

What Microsoft Live Maps is missing?

I use both Google Maps and Microsoft’s Live Maps for all my mapping needs. Though, I find that I use Google Maps more often than I use Live Maps. I think a major reason for this is that I use Google Search as my home page and Google Maps is right there.

But there is one major feature that I find missing in Live Maps, that for the life of me I cant figure why Microsoft hasnt yet added it to its Maps product: the ability to generate code that can be used to embed the map into a web-page.

In Google maps, I can setup my map exactly how I want and then click on the “Link” button and then I get the source code that I can use to embed into a web-page (shown below).

Google maps embed options 

This feature is not available in Live maps. This,I think makes it hard for a lot of users to use Live Maps in their web-pages and leads to a lot of users skipping using Live Maps (even though the geo-location feature in Live Maps is more accurate – see below for an example – mapped location is “266 Hogan Rd, Huntley, MT 59037”)

Map picture

Note: Live Maps can be easily embedded in blogs using Windows Live Writer. But you still cannot share a map with directions between locations, etc. Live Writer allows you to create a map that shows a custom extent with a bunch of push-pins. And when you click on a push-pin, you can open it up in Live Maps, where you can create directions, etc… but that isnt the same as embedding a map exactly the way you want it to look in your web-page.

Hopefully, this will be added in a future version of Live Maps.

1 comment:

jdauie said...

Although the geo-location feature may be more accurate in Live Maps, I have found that the imagery in a number of areas is at much lower resolution than the equivalent imagery from Google Maps. This is one thing keeping me using Google Maps for now.