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Map sites: Google vs. Bing vs. Here vs. MapQuest
GoneNomad
Bing.com/maps has a typical Microsoft problem:
It changes things to what it thinks you want (even though it wasn't).
Case in point: if you're zoomed in fairly far, way too far in for your destination to show up in the current view, Bing automatically substitutes the WRONG location.
No matter what you do, no matter how many times you select the specific place that you want, Bing will keep changing it, until you zoom out farther:



In fact, it changes to the nearest WalMart even if you're zoomed way out:



...and will keep doing it over and over and over:
Ken in Regina
Garmin nav devices have a similar feature. To keep searches quick it automatically searches "Near" your current location. But it handles your example situation more gracefully.

First, it will attempt to find exactly what you're looking for and declare it not found.

Second, it gives you a fairly obvious way (big button) to search "Near other Place".

...ken...
GoneNomad
Well, I'd say Bing's handling was a lot less than not very graceful.

Bing gave me choices in a list but selecting the one I wanted from that list
(blue shaded area above) resulted in choosing that as the destination, but only for about one second, and then it automatically changed to the WalMart Supercenter 650 S. Truman Blvd. in Festus, MO.

Let me be clear: I repeatedly pasted or typed in the full address ("WalMart Supercenter, 3458 Dickerson Pike, Nashville, TN 37207") into the destination field, and it would not let me chose that WalMart unless I entered only the address! IThe practical drawback is, I was contemplating using Windows 10 Maps as the "Nav Module" for trips using POIs stored in S&T, if not planned entirely in S&T, and getting those places into Windows 10 Maps by copy&paste
(no network connection required!).

But the above problem makes me wonder if that will work. Of course maybe Windows 10 Maps doesn't have the same problem as Bing.com/maps.

Also, I don't even know if places and/or routes planned using Bing.com/maps automatically show up in Windows 10 Maps (as is the case with "Here"); I just assumed they do (or will someday, maybe?)
GoneNomad
OK, I captured this video just now:
Bing maps Walmart problem
which "almost" shows what Bing.com/maps was doing last night.

The only difference is that TODAY Bing is finding this

WalMart Supercenter, 3458 Dickerson Pike, Nashville, TN 37207

after pasting in this name & address IF I also select it from the list (where it's highlighted in blue).

Not sure why users should have to do that when there's only one WalMart Supercenter at 3458 Dickerson Pike in the list to choose from? Maybe because there's a pharmacy too? Who knows? Shouldn't have to pick one if the address is this explicit.

If I just paste in & hit return, it still keeps on changing to the Walmart in Festus (as it did on "B" & "C" tonight).
However, this works correctly if using just the address.

Last night, it kept changing to the Walmart in Festus even if I also selected the Dickerson Pike location from the list (as shown in this screencap above)

Anyway, the point is, Google.com/maps does not do this, i.e.: make you choose a place from a list after entering the exact name and exact address. Google.com/maps just creates the route.

One reason this matters: Macros/Scripts can copy & paste this info easily... but trying to automatically pick the right one from a list is not as easy.
Ken in Regina
Just for completeness I've tested Microsoft's Windows 10 Maps app and it does not have this problem, In fact it is quite smart about how it handles these searches. If you enter just "walmart supercenter, nashvill, tn" it will return a list of all the Walmarts in the Nashville area and show them with pins on the map.

If you enter "walmart supercenter, dickerson pike, nashville, tn" it returns only the four that are in that specific area.

If you enter the full address you get just the one store with all its detailed information, like phone number, web site, and current operating hours.

...ken...
GoneNomad
ref.: Post # 8 - Can map sites find the correct exit on an difficult route?

I forgot to include MapQuest in this post (mainly because MapQuest is ruled out for many other reasons), but in the interest of completeness...

MapQuest, like all the others except Bing, missed the exit to Whitehaven Welcome Center.

Also, notice that:
MapQuest does not zoom in as far as google maps, and
MapQuest has less POI detail at its maximum zoom level than google maps at a similar zoom level.

......
GoneNomad
The inability of all but BingMaps & Win10Maps to find the correct entrance to the Whitehaven Welcome Center made me realize that another test of map POI accuracy is needed.

This time, it's the shopping center entrance test.

I first noticed this particular problem the last time I tested CoPilot earlier this year.
So I decided to try out all the alternatives, and see how well - or poorly - they handled this.

This test route has this destination:
Sam's Club (Crestwood), 10248 Big Bend Road, St. Louis, MO 63122
(starting from anywhere a few miles to the south, e.g. in the 63129 zip code)

This POI is one of the largest chains and this specific store has been there for at more than a decade.

Mapping/Nav software should not have any problem directing users right to the parking lot, if not the front door. Surprisingly, none of those I tested could accomplish the latter, and only two managed to send users to the main entrance.

Let's start with those that flunked badly, directing hapless users to a residential subdivision behind one side of the store, where they'd end up on a narrow street staring at THIS WALL:

...here's an overhead 3D view:


In this case (and others like it), the routing algorithm directed to the road nearest the building location, without any consideration of whether or not that road is actually the parking lot entrance, or even if it's actually possible to walk to the POI from that road at all, without climbing a fence or other obstacle.

If you recognized that dashed line as an element in a google map, you're right!

Google flunked this test, badly as this map shows.

...As did the supposedly better navigation of TomTom,
which made the same mistake regardless of whether only the address is used, or the POI name
(TomTom forces you to chose which one you're searching for).

MapQuest didn't quite get it right either, as this map shows. At least
MapQuest does direct users to a point on Big Bend Rd. east of the actual entrance (same result from either direction, east or west), rather than to a residential neighborhood behind the shopping center. However both of the routes MapQuest devised travel the last mile on an urban boulevard (slightly longer and much slower) instead of the nearby interstate (which is the optimal route chosen by all the others).

My previous test of CoPilot in April 2016 discovered that it made the same mistake as google and TomTom. So I was surprised to find that since then, they've corrected that, and now CoPilot guides you to about the same point on Big Bend Road as MapQuest or S&T, but like S&T, CoPilot uses the better route (via I-44) to get there. Oddly, CoPilot says this Sam's Club is in nearby Kirkwood, which as this map shows, it is not.

Streets & Trips 2013 ALMOST got it right. S&T2013 came up with two slightly different points on Big Bend Rd. The point (#2 in the map below) for the address associated with Sam's Club is pretty exactly at the parking lot entrance, while the point for the Sam's Club itself is directly in front of the store. Close, but no cigar.
Since S&T2013 has very little detail for the areas between roads, I overlayed the S&T2013 route on a google map. Here's a larger view of the S&T2013 map of the destination area.

Saving the best for last: Both Bing & Here actually found the shopping center entrance, although they didn't quite do the same thing once they got there.
Here map of destination area

Bing map of destination area

Winner: Bing Maps
(because it directed to a point closer to the store itself, though not on the correct side as the store entrance)
Very close runner up: Here
(directed to the gas station, across the parking lot from the store entrance)

Abject losers: Google & TomTom


Now I have to ask: how well does Garmin handle this?

GoneNomad
Good news:
New Googlemaps app update adds the ability to organize saved ("starred") places into lists.
https://www.cnet.com/news/google-maps-now-save-and-share-lists/
https://www.cnet.com/how-to/google-maps-lists-favorite-places/
https://9to5google.com/2017/01/11/google-maps-lists-expands/
https://support.google.com/local-guides/answer/7011920?hl=en
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8jTeS_Ey4A

The "sharing" feature could be used for a lot more than friendly recommendations.
It would make it easier for companies that have local service calls or deliveries to convey that day's addresses to their employees.

Wonder if there's any way to organize/rearrange places in a list?
My guess is, probably not...

Bad news:
Here come the ads...
(apparently this is not new either, but is becoming more prevalent).
GoneNomad
This Google.com/maps -> GoogleMaps app flaw may be a dealbreaker, especially if you like to reshape routes by dragging them:

The GoogleMaps app ignores any "via points" manually added on google.com/maps.

Example:

The above route was manually altered from the default by adding a 'via point' (by dragging the route on google.com/maps).

Then it was really easy to send it to an Android mobile device (using "Send directions to your phone"),
on which a message will quickly pop up prompting to be opened into the GoogleMaps app, where it looks like this:

No via point = completely different route.
Have to add actual stops to prevent this.

-----------------

Next problem:
Notice in the image above that at the bottom right there is only a "Preview" button instead the "Start" navigation button.
That's because the origin is an address instead of "Your Location" as in the image below:

And this flaw exists even if the address shown for the origin is the correct address for the current location.
You still have to choose "edit" and delete that entry, and then choose "Your Location" as the origin.
GoneNomad
From Post #22

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneNomad on Nov 22, 2016
the shopping center entrance test.
...Sam's Club (Crestwood), 10248 Big Bend Road, St. Louis, MO 63122
This specific store has been there for more than a decade.

Mapping/Nav software should not have any problem directing users right to the parking lot, if not the front door. Surprisingly, none of those I tested could accomplish the latter, and only two managed to send users to the main entrance.

Let's start with those that flunked badly, directing hapless users to a residential subdivision behind one side of the store, where they'd end up on a narrow street staring at THIS WALL:
2/14/2018 - Still flunking this test:

Google



TomTom



MapQuest:



All three of these still send their users to a cul-de-sac or tight corner facing a fence in the back of a residential subdivision.

TomTom & MapQuest do this because their maps don't include the entrance road leading to the Sams Club parking lot.
What's worse is that their default routes guide users in from the wrong direction (from the west) thatn the best route,
so they'd never even SEE the correct entrance before they were directed into the nearly dead-end residential subdivision.

Google, on the other hand, *DOES* have that entrance road on the map (highlighted in pink on the first map).
But for some reason, Google doesn't use it.

In Nov. 2016, Bing Maps had the same roads into the parking lot as shown on the Google map above, but Bing used them.
Although it guided users past the front entrance toward the back of the building, it still did better than the others:


Sometime within the last week, Bing Maps was updated to include the entire parking lot, which corrected the minor error it made in 2016:


Interestingly, both Bing and Here seem to be using the same maps, because now they both have that parking lot layout mapped.
But Bing produces a better result with that data compared to Here, which now ends the route at the entrance to the parking lot:


This is no better than the now-ancient-but-still-useful S&T2013 (see this image) and actually worse than Here did in Nov. 2016,
when it directed into the parking lot to the Sams gas station (about halfway in toward the store itself),
as shown in this image.


Conclusion: this is another example that supports my contention that www.bing.com/maps and the Win10 Maps app are a better choice for that crucial "last mile" for travelers in an unfamiliar area.
GoneNomad
On 2/14/2018 - Google Still flunked this test:
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneNomad
Sometime recently, they finally fixed this. Here's what it looks like now:


-------------------------------
Two years ago, Google missed the entrance to the Whitehaven Welcome Center
(and then stopped short of the second, less convenient entrance):
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneNomad
They fixed that too:
GoneNomad
But google Maps still has persistent problems with passing by, or going completely around, some destinations, even though there is no practical reason for it.

Here are three examples:


The first two have the road colored orange... I'm not sure if that's supposed to be construction, but whatever it is, it's wrong.
There is *no* reason to avoid that area, yet google has made this mistake for at least several years...







This last one is a 20 mile detour:
GoneNomad
Bing handles the first two (OfficeMax and Arby's) much better:



...although Bing does stop short of the closest entrance to Arby's accessible from that side of the road, I'd sure prefer that to the long detour google came up with (and which might not be obviously wrong as you arrive if you couldn't see the store signage).




But even though Bing's routing to Echo Bluffs State Park is good, it has a bigger problem: It has the park located in *TWO* different locations, and unfortunately it gives driving directions to the incorrect one ("C" on the map below), which is almost 19 miles south of the actual park (point "B" on the map below; see inset detail map). Bing has *both* locations labeled "Echo Bluffs State Park" but point "C" appears to be a house.

GoneNomad
As noted in post #24 on Aug 21, 2017

Google.com/maps allows routes to be reshaped by dragging them. And it is easy to send a route planned on to an Android mobile device (using "Send directions to your phone"), the GoogleMaps app ignores any "via points" manually added on google.com/maps.

That is still the case now, but the 'Send to phone' now includes this warning:

So if you want to have the best chance of getting the same route in the GoogleMaps app as you planned on google.com/maps, you still have to use stops instead of via points to reshape the route.

Although Win10Maps is now capable of routes with multpile stops, AFAIK, you can't easily get a multi-stop route from Bing Maps to the Win10 Maps app. You can "Share" a URL for a multi-stop route from Bing Maps, but I don't think Win10Maps can do anything with it. I think you'd end up having to recreate the route in Win10 Maps.

FWIW, TomTom may be the only site/app combo that not only shares complete routes, it also includes via points in routes that are easy to synch from their map/trip planner website to their mobile device app.
.....
Attached Images
google-maps-dragging-does-not-affect-sent-route.png  
GoneNomad
Previous post from Oct. 2018



Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneNomad
...Bing... has ["Echo Bluff State Park"] located in *TWO* different locations, and unfortunately it gives driving directions to the incorrect one ("C" on the map below), which is almost 19 miles south of the actual park (point "B" on the map below; see inset detail map). Bing has *both* locations labeled "Echo Bluff State Park" but point "C" appears to be a house.


UPDATE: Bing now correctly finds "Echo Bluff State Park"



(although the incorrect location 19 miles to the south still shows up on the map itself, it appears that it is now ignored by a Bing location search).


FWIW, a few weeks ago when I tried out a Garmin Drivesmart 61 at Best Buy, it was unable to find Echo Bluff State Park either by name or by the address (34489 Echo Bluff Dr, Eminence, MO 65466).

Echo Bluff State Park has been open to the public since July 30, 2016.
Attached Images
bing-now-finds-echo-bluff-state-park-correctly.png  
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