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Map sites: Google vs. Bing vs. Here vs. MapQuest
GoneNomad
I also recently ran into another example of google's wacky routing to a retail POI (Burger King) that has been at the same location for decades. Google's map does have the shopping center entrance on the map, but the routing algo ignores it. In this case, at least there's not a wall between the two parking lots where google expects you to start walking!

...................Google (left) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------vs ------------ Bing (right)
Ken in Regina
Look closely and you'll see that it's Google's new constraint of putting your vehicle on the correct side of the street for on street parking at the destination. This often causes it to go through all sorts of strange gyrations near the end of the route.

...ken...
GoneNomad
^ I don't know about that. There is no "on street parking" anywhere near this Burger King; parking is in the parking lot only. Also, google's route shown above, after going past the main parking lot entrance (even though it's on the map), then inexplicably turns off the secondary access road that runs behind the Panda Express/Mattress Firm/Burger King, and goes around the front of the Panda Express. I've seen this type of error from google's routing before.



Ken in Regina
Sorry, I worded that badly. I should have said "Look carefully", as in from an analytical perspective, at the last loopy portion of the route. Yes, it's dumb if you know the parking immediately close by. But if you view it from the perspective of putting you into on street parking on the correct side of the street it's quite understandable. Stupid in the context of locally available parking but perfectly understandable from the perspective of the routing constraints.

I began noticing this change a few months ago when I began to see this sort of foolishness more frequently. Even when you're going to private residences where you want to park on the street in front of the house it will go to idiotic lengths to put you on the correct side of the road.

...ken...
GoneNomad
I just noticed this newly "improved" feature on Bing.com/maps:
Buttons near the top for several categories of POIs along the current route:


GREAT! That's something Mapquest always had but google.com/maps does not (though there is something similar on the google maps mobile app).

Clicking on "Gas Stations" produces the following result. Regular gas prices show up automatically (if you typed in "gas stations", it's been that way for a while, but now they're in new, somewhat easier-to-see flags):


Clicking on any of those flags brings up more info on that POI, e.g.:


...unfortunately, a LOT of them (even major brand gas stations) don't work. Instead of detail about that station, clicking on one of those flags moves the map to a very different location, as shown below.

Clicking on a Conoco gas station's flag takes you to the town by that name in Mexico:


Clicking on a Murphy USA gas station's flag takes you to the town by that name in North Carolina:



...and clicking on a Phillips 66 gas station's flag takes you to...

well, I'm not sure what that is, or why it landed there, but it's not the right place, that's for sure...:

Oh well, maybe they'll get this little bug fixed in the next revision.
I do like having the POI category icons handy, though.
GoneNomad
Bing.com/maps also has a nice way to pick the type restaurant you might be looking for: this "Cuisine" button

shows up when you select "Restaurants" from the POI buttons at the top.
As you can see, six lines show up at one time...


...not nearly enough, as it turns out, because it includes some of the most obscure choices imaginable, causing the list to stretch out to nearly SIXTY types of cuisine (composite image below).
Yet the list omits three very common choices: Fast Food, Mexican and Pizza.
And, it's not even fully in alphabetical order, either!
GoneNomad
Recently did some testing with the latest version of the Google Maps/Nav app (on a LG GPad X Android tablet).

I discovered that if Wi-Fi is turned off (not necessarily in "Airplane Mode"), the GPS signal is lost. I've read posts elsewhere that others have had similar experience. So I guess some devices are dependent on some part of the Wi-Fi circuitry to be active in order for the built-in GPS to function.

If the pertinent map area was not stored on the device, if a navigation is started, and then the LTE data connection was disabled (leaving Wi-fi enabled), google navigation stopped immediately and could not be resumed after turning LTE data back on. I was suprised by this, because years ago, the google app cached the current navigation locally so that it would continue to work if the data connection is interrupted, even without locally-stored map data. But I guess this feature must have ended when google fully embraced local storage of map data.

Without a data connection, but with the pertinent map area stored on the device, the Google Maps/Nav app was able to find any nearby location I tested by either name or address and start a new navigation to them.

However, despite the device being placed under the windshield (for best GPS reception) the current location shown on the tablet was a lot less accurate than normal. Also, with no data connection, the google nav voice guidance did not start working at all until about the third or fourth turns. But I was surprised to find that the quality of the voice directions was essentially the same as the voice directions with data connection enabled. In the past, the google app was dependent on their servers for the highest quality voice directions (with street names), but not any more. Now, if the map data stored locally, you get street names that sound just as good as with a data connection... after the first few turns, that is.

In comparison, the Windows 10 Maps app (on a Surface 3 tablet) did not have any similar problems... although without a data connection, the Win10 Maps app makes more mistakes on street name pronunciation.
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