Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Why Google Maps wins

It occurs to me that the real winning feature of Google Maps is not its DHTML-goodness, its endless scrolling surfaces, its Ajax underpinnings nor its satellite photo views. Rather, the winning feature is the user types the address into a single input box. No more entering street address, city, state and zip into separate boxes. You don't even need commas, AFAICT.

It seems like such a trivial detail, but to me it's everything. Why can't every address input interface be that simple?

19 Comments:

At 7:18 AM, Blogger Elliott said...

None of this is new, but as with other google services, the focus is on useability. one search field (it does seem to get confused though- needs some tweaking), simple scrolling, easy to read, decent sized maps. I guess you could say the useability for mapping tipped with this app.

BTW, yahoo! maps has a neat widget that overlays restaurant locations over their maps. It's a pretty nifty tool that I hope google steals soon. However, the mapquesty teeny-tiny maps are unbearable after seeing the glory that is google maps.

 
At 4:51 PM, Blogger dan said...

Google has a similar feature in their new Google Earth Beta that i saw screen shots of yesterday.

 
At 8:13 AM, Blogger nontalk said...

I agree. the single address field is more superior. However, I would take it one step further.

When addresses are listed on web pages, they are almost always formatted on multiple lines. But when you try to copy and paste a section of multiline text into a regular INPUT field, it truncates at the first line break.

I would love to see a TEXTAREA field so that I can copy and paste with ease.

 
At 1:26 PM, Blogger Scott said...

A single input field - that is an excellent observation. The whiz-bang technology and pretty imagery certainly add to the experience, but the single input field is an easily-overlooked (and very effective) enhancement.

Regarding overlays, check out Wired's Hey Google, Map This!

 
At 11:45 AM, Blogger DHTML Kitchen said...

GMAPS sucks because you can't bookmark the map. The good thing about gmaps is is is pretty fast.

Yahoo maps is much better, overall.

 
At 7:38 PM, Blogger Erwan said...

scottandrew> technically it is not so obvious to do because you have to deal with people writting addresses in different form, it is not easy to identify the usual fields: city/address/postal code... So it's fine for search, but for input you would get bogus entries.

DHTML Kitchen> You can bookmark the page, actually.

 
At 1:53 AM, Blogger Uhop said...

Nothing is new. Deceased yymap.com had "free format" TEXTAREA input almost 5 years ago => you could copy-and-paste "column formatted" address from anywhere. It had "noise filter" (smart address recognition) to filter out possible garbage you picked up while copying. Let's wait when somebody will make (repeat) next step from "address forms" to "one-line" to "free format"...

 
At 7:11 AM, Blogger Jitendra said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 7:14 AM, Blogger Jitendra said...

Google Maps is fantastic tool. Every tool has some deficiencies but I think this is just a knocking we will see somthing more in coming years..

 
At 12:53 AM, Blogger Dinesh Gajbhiye said...

Hey guys, have you visited moon map from google- looks good.
-dinesh Gajbhiye(Web Usability)

 
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At 9:01 PM, Blogger Dave said...

This is a great idea, but has anyone else written this code so we can reuse it without reinventing the wheel?

 
At 12:01 AM, Blogger kamlavati said...

Yes of course,
Google maps is fast,easy and descriptive.I have been using google maps for many months .Because google has a huge database therefore finding a place or destination is quite fast.

concordsoftech.com

 
At 11:40 PM, Blogger lotus said...

The property of google site map is that the size can be varied to 4 different sizes
>>there are different colors for sizes
>>paths can be easily;y specified
>>and also the images help a lot in finding a destination or spot.

concordsoftech.com

 
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