Alternative to Google maps?

Using the old classic Google maps was easy-peasy. Just click my bookmark, didn’t need to disable NoScript unless I wanted to use StreetView. I loved the traffic function, especially for checking the situation on the back roads.

Now the new improved Google maps is just…lousy. The contrast and resolution of the new graphics are inferior visually for me, and the controls that I used without thinking are now in different places and I’m not really interested in retraining myself. I guess whatever wonderful new features are there are beyond me.

So I’ve tried bookmarking the classic version several different times and ways and the bookmark still always reverts to ground zero of the new version (they eliminated the old URL). It takes me about ten clicks of disabling NoScript repeatedly and going through the help menu just to get to the classic map starter page that used to be my bookmark.

Any ideas about alternatives? I never liked Mapquest as much but maybe it got better. Or is there a way to optimize Google that I’m just missing? I don’t want to globally enable it on Noscript, though that would eliminate a few clicks.

Open a map.
There’s an option in the lower right corner to revert to classic.
You need to do it that way, or did you already try that?

Yeah, that’s what’s taking me all those clicks to get to.

Huh, weird.
I just selected it once and now the default for me is classic.

You did this:

Just checking…

And still no joy?

Yeah. I assume much of the problem is my stubborn insistence on NoScript. Where my old bookmark went right to a map, no disabling of NoScript needed, all the new bookmarks I’ve tried to make from classic Google maps now lead to a blank page. I then disable NoScript, get a map, have to keep disabling it on each screen and work through the help menu as I try to get to that classic map paradise. Saving the classic map starter page (since it can’t be bookmarked) doesn’t work for me. Probably it would if I signed in to Google. Maybe these impediments are a bit about stopping those of us who like to remain anonymous to the mighty Google.

It’s just frustrating that it went from a lovely user experience to a very tedious one. I know I have the option to do it the way they’re herding me. Just wondering if I have other options.

Yes, there are many other options, but there are only four worldwide datasets: Nokia, TomTom, Google, and OpenStreetMap. For the US, I think is the most accurate (it uses Nokia data). Bing Maps also uses Nokia data and is fast and attractive. Openstreetmap is very good in certain areas—Chicago, Berlin, lots of Europe—but painfully unfinished in a lot of rural areas.

Bing has potential for me; only required one click on NoScript. I’ll play with it to see if I can make it more contrasty; it’s a bit washed out with the color scheme it has to start.

When I first started using the new maps I hated it, but they have adjusted a lot of things since then and it’s a lot more intuitive, so now I like it okay. But I imagine there will be a few features, ones I haven’t needed yet, that will still be missing or will work differently enough to frustrate me.

Well, you can’t search nearby locations anymore. They claim you can just type “search term” near “location” into regular Google, but that requires more work and doesn’t actually seem to work with addresses, which is the only reason I would use it.

Speaking of losing search options–I also can’t figure out how to search a single person’s videos anymore on YouTube. Why in the world is Google, a search engine company, making their search capabilities worse?

It’s getting to the point where I hope something bad happens to Google, just so they’ll have to shape up and stop making their products worse. I already have Google completely adblocked because of this cavalier attitude of “upgrading” by removing features, but trying to hide it with a new UI. Not even Microsoft did it this bad.

Here’s a neat site that allows comparison of dozens of map services, four at a time.

What they call Nokia is now branded as Anything labeled OSM is just using the Open Street Map dataset and styling it as they like.

That 4-way display is cool. I tried most of them, and compared to Google Classic they are more washed-out and pastel-y. I don’t get why there’s such a noticeable difference in the crispness and resolution of both roads and text. Google shouldn’t have such a graphics advantage (although the new Google seems visually inferior to me too).

I am now trying Google Classic with just a couple of things whitelisted on NoScript, so it only takes 2 clicks to get to the starter map now. I hope I’m not giving up so much on the security side. Thanks for helping me explore the other options. At least I am confident it is by far the best map available for how my eyes work.

I found myself on Bing-I am getting something out of my car from the passenger side door. But they’ll have a new update soon where I saw the truck going by as I was petting one of the tame stray cats we have at my place.