I remember streetmap...
They provided free maps for websites.
Google provide better ones.
I believe there used to be a number of British companies that were market leaders in cart wheels and coach lamps.
Google is being sued by UK-based website Streetmap, which is also one of the complainants in the lengthy European Union investigation into allegations that the ad giant is "abusing its dominance" in the online search business. Streetmap said it had filed a complaint against Google in Britain's High Court in a defensive move to …
They provided free maps for websites.
Google provide better ones.
I believe there used to be a number of British companies that were market leaders in cart wheels and coach lamps.
"I believe there used to be a number of British companies that were market leaders in cart wheels and coach lamps"
Err... and they were crushed by giant US multinationals making better cartwheels and coach lamps?
No they were crushed by rhe Japanese. .
Streetmap provide pukka OS versions of the maps, whereas Google don't - it's just their interface is a bit pants in comparison with Google's - so they lost market share.
Plus Google investing in the maps to make them a better user experience by stuffing the Streetview pics in gives them the extra edge. Perhaps Streetmap could learn from that....
As many have pointed out, candlemakers aren't going to be very successful suing lightbulb makers for loss of earnings.
Not sure when Google last prevented me from viewing Streetmap, though, which kinda undercuts their argument for abuse of market position.
For my purposes Open Streetmap is better - and more accurate - than Google or Streetmap.
Being popular doesn't allow you to sit back for the rest of eternity. Even Google may be outfoxed one day.
"Not sure when Google last prevented me from viewing Streetmap, though, which kinda undercuts their argument for abuse of market position."
Not if you have the slightest understanding of the subject. MS did not stop you installing an alternative browser to IE.
Streetmap provide pukka OS versions of the maps, whereas Google don't
Bing do that nowadays, if you weren't aware. Even down to Explorer map scale, which is handy.
"Not sure when Google last prevented me from viewing Streetmap, though"
Once again I have to point out that if you search for a map of a town on Google, at the top of the page, prioritised before any other results, is Google's own offering. That will immediately stop most people from every looking for another mapping service.
There are many other online mapping services, but they are simply not getting a look in because of Google's anti-competitive behaviour.
Streetmap supplies proper OS maps. Google supplies their own home made, low quality abominations.
"Not if you have the slightest understanding of the subject. MS did not stop you installing an alternative browser to IE."
So, the first time you surf the internet you always arrive at the Google page? Maybe you have no understanding of how the web works?
IE was bundled with the OS, so every new PC owner had IE to start with. Plus, IE was so tightly integrated in the rest of Windows you ended up using IE no matter what browser you installed.
If you type "streetmap" into Google, streetmap.co.uk comes up as the first search result. The second search result is a link to this article. I see they now have slippy tiles like Google, so it doesn't take forever to navigate round the map like it used to. However, they don't show bus stops, the times of the next buses from those bus stops, or any of the other useful things you get on a Google map, so I'm not going to return to them.
Google provides a better product, customers move to that new supplier. Seems like competition is working exactly as it should.
> Once again I have to point out that if you search for a map of a town on Google, at the top of the page, prioritised before any other results, is Google's own offering.
In other news: It transpires that if you go into a Thomas Cook shop, they will probably try to sell you a Thomas Cook holiday....
Google Results Show World's Most Popular Product First Shock!
I used to use Streetmap all the time. I stopped when Google made a better product. No-one forced me away from Streetmap except them for making their UI so clunky. I've been to sites recently where their 'location' page had Streetmap embedded. I had to leave and look it up on Google Maps.
I have still been unable to buy Asda products in Tesco, I think it's because Tesco put selling their own products before that of selling their competitors products. Maybe I should complain to Europe and demand that Tesco start promoting the products of their competitors.
If you go to Google you get offered Googles own brand products, just like if you go to Tescos you get offered their own brand products. Why any of you should find that a problem for Google but not for Tesco is baffling.
If Streetmap want to rule the mapping world, maybe they should setup a competing search engine which people choose to use, then they could put their product first, just like Asda have done.
Oh no I forgot it's much better to demand that governments should force your competitors favour your business over their own products... even if it makes you sound like a petulant child.
Sorry Steetmap, but you'll never see a connection from any IP address I have control over again, for acting like a petulant child, feel free to sue me.
Sigh, I knew I should have written the rest of this in my post, but I was in a hurry, so, unsurprisingly, people came out with the same tired old "why shouldn't google prioritise its own products" and "I can't buy ASDA products in Tescos" nonsense which, as usual, completely misses the point.
Imagine you come up with *the best* online mapping service ever. It's fast, it's accurate, it shows everything down to the nearest pillar box, it's the most wonderful map in the whole world.
What do you think your chances of getting it to the first place on the most widely used search engine in the world? What do you think your chances are of it immediately showing your map at the top of a search page? Even if loads of people link to it, will it ever come above Google's Map? What do you think?
So you're always going to be forced into second place by a product which is second rate to yours because *Google* holds the keys and most people aren't going to bother looking below the first result which is presented to them and clicking on that.
Google claim to "do no evil" and say that they rank sites according to popularity and how useful they are, but when they exploit their power to prioritise themselves no matter how good any other product will be then they are abusing a monopoly position.
What they *should* do, just as Microsoft was forced to do with browser choice, is, when someone searches for "map", take them to a page which shows them *all* the online mapping services and then let the *consumer* decide which one they want.
when someone searches for "map", take them to a page which shows them *all* the online mapping services and then let the *consumer* decide which one they want.
You mean like this one?
Post us all up a picture of what Google shows you when you type map into Google search engine, then make that claim again. Go on I dare you, if for no other reason than you might get to set a downvote record.
If you come up with the best online maping service ever created, then lots of people will use it, and your page ranking will sky rocket, so you might find yourself at the top of any Google search for "map". Until someone does it, we'll not know, so your claims otherwise are nothing more than paranoid speculation.
>>If you come up with the best online maping service ever created, then lots of people will use it<<
And how do they find out about it? Every time they search for a map they see a massive Google ad at the top of their page for the familiar product they're used to using, why would they look further down? You seem to be unwittingly highlighting the whole point of this story. You shouldn't put a fox in charge of the hen house....
Google has just provided you with a free search service. It concludes that you may wish to view a map, so offers you a free chance so to do.
Are you seriously suggesting that they should instead offer free advertising for other companies' products? If Streetmap wants searchers from Google, it should PAY for the advertising.
Since when did having the better product entitle you to the greater market share? Remember Betamax (and thousands of others)?
The hint is in the word "market". One who does the better marketing gets the better market share. If you think this is "wrong" or "unfair", I suggest you have a word with your favourite deity.
"Google provide better ones"
Phftftt!!!! Have you actually LOOKED at Google's maps? They're CRAP. Streetmap provide proper Ordnance Survey mapping, with proper detail. All Google's maps are are driving route maps.
Searching on Bing UK for the term "Map" comes up with the following order of results:
a) Google maps (UK)
b) Google maps (US)
c) Streetmap UK
d) Some images of maps
e) Bing maps
Google's results are (when I'm logged out - they are different when logged in):
a) Google maps (UK)
b) Bing maps
c) Google maps (US)
d) Streetmap UK
Went I bought my computer, it didn't come with "Google" installed, it came with IE installed and no browser choice window. Funnily enough, IE didn't default to Google search, or even have the Google search option when searching from the address bar. I chose to install them - perhaps less technically aware folks won't bother but if that was the case then Google wouldn't be getting the views it gets. People are choosing to shop at Google because their products work well for their needs and they have massive brand awareness.
If you came up with a new "best" service, you first have to convince the market that it's the best - get yourself a marketing plan and some funding to do it with - don't expect competitors to have to do it for you.
In contrast, search for "social network" and at the bottom, in the list of most popular references, you'll see a list of social networking sites. There's no mention of Google+.
A fair number will hear about it by word of mouth, much like so many people heard of Google.
Some will no doubt find it on search engines other than Google.
There are even some poeple who don't always click the first link on Google, so they might find out there.
The clever people will find out about it via El Reg.
And of course for the friendless ones, who don't read anything, talk to anyone, or pay any attention to the world around them, there's always Facebook & Twitter.... unless of course those "evil doers" at Google buy them out.
"There are many other online mapping services, but they are simply not getting a look in because of Google's anti-competitive behaviour."
Why the hell shouldn't Google promote their own services on their own site? You are asking Google for a map; Google provides that, so they tell you. If you don't like, use another search engine!
What next, eh? Complaining that NatWest is abusive because you can't go into a branch to sort out a car loan with HSBC? Or Tesco is guilty of not selling Waitrose products?
Of course Google are going to put their results first. You wouldn't walk into a Ford dealership asking for a family hatchback and expect that they'd show you Vauxhall's version now would you?
I use Streetmap because Google maps has serious browser compatibility issues. It's unusable on this platform. Unfortunately SM haven't done themselves any favours by adopting some awful mapping from one supplier at the street level. When they used Bartholomews it was very good. Now we have lots of missing names and junctions which aren't junctions or have no vehicular access.
"Post us all up a picture of what Google shows you when you type map into Google search engine, then make that claim again."
Certainly. I searched for "Map of Portsmouth" and this is what I got...
What is right at the top of the search results? A nice big map from, oh, look, it's google. Sure, there are other ones "below the fold", but which one is the average user most likely to click on?
Please feel free to downvote me anyway...
So Google should not give people the information they have searched for easily at the top of the page for reasons of ... well, what? What is your solution to this - that Google randomly select a map provider site to put in that position? If so, why? Or do you want Google to adopt the same sort of required statement as the BBC used to have regarding their publications - "Other map providers are available"?
I just saw your reply further down the page - I see you do favour the BBC solution ...
"... Streetmap provide proper Ordnance Survey mapping ..." Yes, and if I want that level of information, I'll go to the OS website and find it. It isn't difficult, and allows me to have the two sites open at the same time for comparison.
The OS site used to be really poor unless you knew the grid ref, but now it is more friendly once you know roughly where you need to be. It could still do with some work, though.
I rarely ever bother down voting anything. So no.
Nice attempt at wriggling off the hook you created for yourself with your ridiculous search for "map" statement, but everyone here is clever enough to see you moving the goal posts from "map" to "map of portsmouth". You shouldn't bother with silly twists like that, you've just made yourself look like a twat. You'd have been better off just ignoring my challenge completely.
Would you prefer a nice big picture from a Bing map at the top of Googles search results? Or Streetmap maybe? Are the opening up there API to Google's search engines so it can harvest the mapps to return the picture in good time?
I can't imagine why you persist in this ridiculous notion that users who have all choosen Google as a search provider should have their lives made harder because it suits Streetmap and or some other businesses who those users didn't choose.
I can't imagine why you can't see the ridiculousness of demanding Ford offers potential buyers a Vauxhall car, as someone pointed out to you before. How many more examples of different industries where you'd be laughed off of the premises if you demanded what you are demanding should be done to Google, would you like?
Oh dear, obnoxiousGit, you're really trying to live up to your self-chosen moniker, aren't you?
I had a bet with myself that you'd try to pick nits by claiming "Haha! You said 'map'" not "map of somewhere" and claim a pedantic victory point, so congratulations on living down to my expectations. And calling me names is just sad.
As for "users who have all choosen Google as a search provider", that's like Microsoft claiming that people "chose" to use Internet Explorer, so please stop with that tedious nonsense.
If you want a better example than the tired old ones that you're repeating, consider this: What if you ran a butchers or a green grocers in a town centre and then Tescos or some other large chain decide to try to get planning permission to build their supermarket on the main road coming into town. Are they offering customers a better product? No. What they're doing is making sure that anyone who comes to that town is presented with TESCO right up front so other businesses are much less likely to get a look in.
This is not ridiculous, this *has happened* such that many shops who were offering higher quality products have been put out of business because most people don't bother to look any further than the first big shop they come to.
That is what Google are doing.
"That is what Google are doing."
Their shareholders will be pleased, as will the SEC. It's a legal requirement for them to deliver the best returns they can to their shareholders by making good products that people want to use, and by making it as easy as possible for those users to access them. Good products and good marketing and the like, you know.
Your argument is that Google should be breaking the laws that ever other company is required to conform to because they're to good at competing in the market place? So you want them to be evil and break laws? That is what you're saying, isn't it?
The playing field is level, all companies have to abide by the same laws, and aim high to achieve the best they can for their owners and employees. Tesco | Google | Microsoft | Samsung | Lenovo .... welcome to Capitalism.
It's not perfect but it's better than the alternative of having little nazis telling you where you can go, when you can go there, how you'll go there, how often you'll be permitted to go there, and what you'll be allowed to do when you get there.
After all you always have the choice to go somewhere else like say Bing maps, or dare I say it Streetmap, if you prefer their product, or find their site more convenient, or if you find they offer you an easier more comprehensive service.
I think I see what you're after, you want legally defined and enforceable levels of crappy service.
You know where the law dictates companies won't deliever a better level of service than X, Y, or Z based upon the annual turn over of the company.
So Tescos and Google et al, should br forced by law to ensure their customers don't receive a comfortable, convenient and comprehensive level of service from any of their stores, because that would be inconvenient for all those companies who don't deliever a similar level of comfort, convenience, and comprehensiveness.
What should we call this service level control law you want? At what levels should the bands of crap service be set? You know of you make upto £1m per annum you can deliver "crappy service level 1", but if you make more than £5m your customers must be subjected to "crappy service level 2", £15m+ PA = "crappy service level 3"... that kind of thing.
In your desperate hurry to show how clever you are by lecturing me about what the law says (not to mention creating ridiculous Straw Man arguments), you appear to have overlooked such things as anti-trust and anti-monopoly laws which are intended to prevent anti-competitive behaviour by abuse of a monopoly (or near-monopoly) position.
It seems that you're in favour of totally unregulated free market capitalism which doesn't operate for the good of the customer, but only for the good of the shareholders and directors (aka "fuck you, I'm alright Jack") but I prefer to look at the slightly bigger picture.
In any case (not least given that you've implied that I'm a "nazi" for wanting to do this) I see little point in trying to carry on a reasonable discussion with you, so feel free to enjoy the last word. (Try not to sprain your arm patting yourself on the back...)
I'm sorry you've taken offence at some of the things I have said. My statements about having "nazis telling people what to do" was not aimed at calling you a nazi, or even implying that you were.
I am in favour of a very free market, but do accept that some regulation is necessary. I think that what is being asked for / proposed here is completely wrong. Simply because as far as I can see Google are not trying to stop Streetmap competing with them, they happily list Streetmap on the first page when you search for "map" per your suggestion.
I'm not sure that discussion / point is worth very much now though, as all I seem to have managed with it is to make you feel as if I am personally attacking you, and you've rightfully taken offence at being made to feel that way. I apologise for my bluntness, and for upsetting you.
OK. Into browser; Enter "streetmap.eu"; Hit return; Result: "The DNS server returned: No DNS records".
I start to think their problems might start somewhat closer to home than at Google HQ.
or try streetmap.co.uk which seems to work just fine.
Try reading the article ... to the end. They call themselves Streetmap.eu Ltd.
Yes, their company name is that:
Not their URL.
They don't seem to be worth a right lot of money, either. Perhaps this is the last gasp thing to do with the £95K cash they have...
The strange thing is, they do own the streetmap.eu domain - they just haven't bothered to configure a redirect to their streetmap.co.uk website.
Not sure why Ralph B gets downvoted... If you call yourself Streetmap.eu (which looks like an internet address) at least make sure THAT works. Fair point.
I just took a look at their site.
Here's what it looked like when Google came along
I can't imagine why users abandoned ship with such haste.
It turns out they have a new, 'beta' site. Here's how the same area looks there:
I remember using streetmap, and thinking it was a great service. But it appears to have changed little in a decade. I think that might be their bigger problem.
Forget about looks; I roll my mouse wheel up and down and the whole page moves up and down. Obviously not what I had intended there.
Same goes for double click, I nowadays expect zoom, rather than nothing
Just tried typing 'Euston Flyer' into the search on that new page. No results. Epic fail.
Since my main use of mapping is to get me to and from pubs I may only know by name, StreetMaps is a non starter. The steady alcoholic intake makes a usable navigation mode another essential and again they fail.
When some of those pubs are in the middle of Belgium, I think I might pick some other, more comprehensive service...
...and that's EXACTLY what I want, proper Ordnance Survey mapping, not Google's abomination. Now, if they could just get the A-Z mapping outside London, and zoom down to the 1:2500 and 1:1250 OS plans, it would be perfect.
The mapping website claimed its service had been popular in the UK prior to what it alleged to be Google's "anti-competitive conduct".
The mapping website claimed its service had been popular in the UK until a better product came along and overshadowed them in every way shape and form.
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