“A good plan is like a road map: it shows the final destination and usually the best way to get there.” ~ H. Stanley Judd
I enjoy looking at maps on paper and I especially enjoy looking at them online. The ability to switch between a road view and a satellite view of that same space is pretty awesome to me. I have been a user of Google Maps for a long time, and more than for just getting directions... but also for some entertainment. So when I was asked to compare Google Maps with Bing Maps I'll admit I found it exciting - a little nerdy I guess.
To keep this comparison readable, not too long, I am limiting this post to some of the basic everyday uses of the maps by most people, street views, overhead views, and getting directions. I used our (SiteDart Hosting) business address, 189 East Palmer Street, Franklin, NC, for the initial comparison.
Map & Road View – same view, different names.
Though the names are different the Road view in Bing and the Map view in Google are the same thing. Both seem to highlight the main roads in yellow. You can see your search result location in both, although Bing is a black box and Google uses a red pin.
Here are 5 things Google Maps and Bing Maps have in common in Map View:
- Zoom In and Out - You can zoom in and out on both using the PLUS(+) and MINUS(-) in each of the platforms.
- Secondary Roads - Both show secondary streets and roads and look pretty accurate in their location.
- Larger Text on Street Names – Both have clearly readable street names but Bing fonts are a little larger making their street names easier to read.
- Places of interest – Both show places of interest nearby your search result. They both seem to deliver different points of interest. And our business location was not displayed in Bing like it was in Google. For me… that was a plus to Google. And some business locations in Bing were not in their correct location.
- Street Side View – Both have the ability to show a street level view, a photo of the what you would see if you were standing at that location. You are likely to find more locations across the country, even small towns like ours, where Google has Street Side locations. You can switch to Street Side, if one is available, by choosing the little person icon you can choose on each platform. And often in Street View you can move down each street and if they have mapped it, side streets. Google is likely way ahead of this especially in more rural areas since they have been at the game a lot longer.
Something that Bing has that I do not see on Google is a Breadcrumb Trail - In Bing they include a Bread Crumb Trail so you can move in and out from World, Country, State, County, and Town.See images below
Bing Maps – “Road” Mode
Google Maps – “Map” Mode
When you switch between the traffic and satellite mode both platforms are very similar. Using Bing you would go under the Bird’s Eye drop down and choose between Bird’s Eye or Aerial. In Google you choose between Satellite or Google Earth. Though both Aerial and Google Earth are the same and give you a 3D version of the map, today’s example will stay in Satellite and Bird’s View mode.
Photos in Satellite View – You will notice that Bing’s photos are more up to date and are much sharper than Google’s. In the examples below you will see our local business location. This may be the same picture results (as in sharpness) that you will find in a lot of rural locations. Bing’s photos are very nice… which did impress me a lot. To compare them in larger markets, more urban areas, I chose Turner Field, home of the Atlanta Braves in Atlanta, GA. And I also chose the Empire State Building in NYC for another choice. But you should do a search of your location and compare the satellite image quality of both yourself. See images below.
Bing Maps – Switch to Satellite mode – Sharper images and more up-to-date
Google Maps – Switch to Satellite mode – blurry images
Bing Maps – Street Level View at my business location
Google Maps – Street Level View at my business location
Bing Maps – Turner Fields in Atlanta, GA
Google Maps – Turner Fields in Atlanta, GA
Bing Maps – Empire State Building in NYC
Google Maps – Empire State Building in NYC
Both Online Maps platforms offer you the ability to get directions. Both allow you to enter a starting and finish points, or A and B. My example for the directions start in Franklin, NC and end in Raliegh, NC. The discrepency in distance between the two seems to exist in where the two put their beginning in Franklin and ending in Raliegh since I was not using a specific address. Both allow you to easily:
- Choose directions between Car, Truck and Walking
- Avoid Toll Roads
- Avoid Highways
- Switch between Miles and Kilometers
- Print Your Directions
- Share Your Directions
Bing Maps – Directions from Franklin, NC to Raliegh, NC
Google Maps – Directions from Franklin, NC to Raliegh, NC
Lee Cloer, SiteDart Author
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