New Yahoo! Maps Beta: Flashy

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A few hours ago Yahoo! announced the launch of the new Yahoo! Maps Beta. It’s in Flash as opposed to AJAX and is integrated with Yahoo! Local (as is I think Google Earth with Google Local)  and comes with the driving directions box. On a first look and a few minutes of here and there, there are a lot of things which disappoint me. Some of these are:

– No sattelite imagery. Gives the feeling of Where 1.0.
– If you live outside the U.S, basically don’t even try navigating to your country. Maybe it’s just on my side, my brower or whatever and if so please point out, but it lets me browse through the world map however shows me a grey loading type fill-in — worst of all, it never loads.
– Sloooowwwwwww. Again, I can’t speak for everyone but on a 4mbps broadband connection, Google Maps and MSN Virtual Earth are much much faster and efficient, not to mention they actually LET me navigate to MY country unlike SOME others.
– Basically useless to me. I can use Virtual Earth. I can use Google Maps. I can’t use Yahoo! Maps.

As for the good things:

Looks prromising.
– Flash
– Awesome API integration (and mashups!)
– Great features and integration, but if only I could use them.

I do think Yahoo! Maps would come very handy to me if I lived in the U.S. But truly, Yahoo!, please please care about others — e.g. people outside the US. I can’t say it sucks because I don’t live in the US and don’t have a chance to try it out as a targetted consumer, but from my point of view, as a person living in New Zealand, it’s not Google Earth to me.


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