back to article Remember Streetmap? It's suing Google in a UK court

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 …

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Gimp

This is getting silly

Ok, I'm all for fair competition and giving the little guy a chance, but competition should be based on everyone having a fair chance, not penalising someone for being good at something.

When Google maps first appeared, I had been using Streetmap for ages, and was a big fan. Google maps worked better. If it hadn't, I'd still be using Streetmap.

Streetmap surely have no right to sue Google because their product wasn't as good? If I opened a restaurant and a year or so later someone else opened a better one down the road that pinched my customers, I wouldn't be able to sue them, I'd have to up my game, and quickly, before my customers left never to return.

Streetmap had a good product. Someone else released a better one. They didn't move quickly enough to salvage the situation, and they lost the business. End of story.

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Re: This is getting silly

I used to use streemap or I think multimap. Anyway, Google came along and even though the maps were not as of such good quality, the interface was a lot better. For me there was a very simple killer feature. You could click on the map and drag it around. With the other mapping websites you had to click on buttons to scroll over a set amount - fine at the time but things move on.

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Re: This is getting silly

Ah, Multimap. Bought by MS, disappeared up its own arse like MC Escher's ferret. The domain points to Bing now.

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Re: This is getting silly

I was a big Multimap fan - IIRC it also used to have OS mapping when the OS site was an absolute pain to use. I was seduced away to Google maps by the fact that it was better to use and had extra information - Streetview, I think, was the thing that weaned me away completely.

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Streetmap is superior

Google seems to think that the only way from A to B is by car, so pedestrian areas simply do not exist, as far as it is concerned.

Streetmap appears to be based on the Ordnance Survey.

I would appreciate recommendations for services that are as good as Streetmap but for other countries.

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FAIL

Re: Streetmap is superior

Where can you get any idea on how to get from A to B on streetmap? it has no directions options as far as I can see... and google maps does have a walking option... as does my google navigation on my phone, which I have used on many occasion navigating a strange town on foot....

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g e
WTF?

Re: Streetmap is superior

Even when you click on the 'Person walking' icon when finding directions?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Streetmap is superior

Does streetmap even know how to get from A to B? (It might do but when I visit the site I get a security warning about cross-site scripting attempt and I'm not prepared to allow it). With google you can have it plot the route for car, cycle or pedestrian.

The "superior" streetmap doesn't even allow me to zoom in enough to see the street names in my area.

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Re: Streetmap is superior

Where can you get any idea on how to get from A to B on streetmap?

When I went to school there were lessons called "Geography" that, amongst other things, taught how to read a map.

My street shares its name with a much bigger one on the other side of London, so sometimes I get misdirected mail. One day I had a misdirected person: someone who had typed the street name into Google Maps and then blindly did as he was told, despite obviously being in the wrong part of the city.

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FAIL

Re: Streetmap is superior

> Google seems to think that the only way from A to B is by car,

Strange, last time I looked, you could map a route by car, bus, train, tram, underground, ordinary car or by walking. And they all seem to work fine.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Streetmap is superior

I tried that in Geneva. Google still confined me to busy roads. Both Apple maps and Tom Tom (pedestrian route :)) found more direct, niftier ways (shorter by over a kilometer), even including a narrow path between buildings and the river. Google also insisted the hotel I sought was in a nearby street, whereas both the others took me to the front door. In my experience, its knowledge of Geneva is no worse than its knowledge of other places in Europe (including GB). Google is greatly overrated.

The best was/is Nokia maps on my old Nokia mobile. Did not need an internet connection either, not ever, to use. However, seems lots of people are dazzled by "shiny" interfaces, including Google/Android fans, perhaps especailly Google fans. Oh, I do use Google maps as, unfortunately, my otherwise brilliant running watch (Suunto) uses it to display uploaded routes.

Of course, all electronic mapping services should be used with caution and the ability to read and understand a proper map, whether on line or on paper, no matter how dazzling the on line interface.

Re the scrolling mouse wheel: I wish on Google maps it just scrolled. The sudden change in behaviour from other applications is infuriating.

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Re: Streetmap is superior

I agree. For most purposes streetmap.co.uk is very much better - has real OS maps down to 1:25000 and has town maps at larger scales. All streets named, which Google maps only does sometimes, and much more reliable.

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Re: Streetmap is superior

"Google also insisted the hotel I sought was in a nearby street, whereas both the others took me to the front door."

Are you sure you're thinking of Google? This sounds a lot more like Apple.

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Stop

Re: Streetmap is superior

Do you actually USE google maps?

Desktop, tablet and smartphone varients ALL offer the choice of car, foot, bicycle or public transport.

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Thumb Up

Re: Streetmap is superior

@Condiment

My browser tells me (it's set to block/inform of such things) says it's something called " scorecard research beacon" which appears to be a tracking cookie.

\PASTE

ScorecardResearch's privacy policy says its tracking will collect information such as:

- when your browser visited a website

- what page of the website it was

- the title of the web page

- IP address

They (streetmapthat is) don't appear to have any form of notification about cookies at all, certainly nothing you have to click/acknowledge was presented to me.

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Re: Streetmap is superior

So the 4 icons sandwiched between Get Directions and the Location dialogue box means absolutely to you?

Icon 1 is Car shaped and represents a car

Icon 2 is Bus shaped and represents a bus

Icon 3 is Person shaped and represents a ......

Icon 3 is Bike+Person shaped and represents a boat (oops sorry a cyclist)

Perhaps the mystery (person shaped) icon may be more appropiate for your needs

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Re: Streetmap is superior

Yes, but the pedestrian route is often stupid.

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Anonymous Coward

2009...

... is the copyright date on their website. Which sorr of implies they sat on their arses for 4 years until they were bunged some cash to go after Google.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 2009...

I think the invite from Microsoft landed in the post a month back...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 2009...

No API (Google has gone through at least 1 if not 2 complete APIs since 2009).

No Custom Overlays.

No Mouse Scrolling

No Satellite imagery

Maybe if they provided some or all of these then they might not be a forgotten hasbeen.

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Gold badge

I prefer Streetmap's maps. Certainly in cities, where you get the A-Z format, rather than Google's rather sparse and in some ways less clear maps. In smaller towns, Google is better. So it's horses for courses.

However Streetmap's website doesn't appear to have changed in 10 years, and even then it looked like a 90s web design abomination. That certainly isn't Google's fault. The lack of extra data, other than what they get off the O/S, also isn't Google's fault. Google put businesses and streetview and information, and public transport in their maps. Streetview didn't.

Google may, or may not, discriminate with search. But they've invested serious money in their maps, and serious effort. There's an argument that one of the major reasons for doing Android was to improve maps and local info.

So as a regular Streetmap user, I'd say their lack of any significant innovation in the last 5 years means I have zero sympathy. Even though I still use their product.

Oh, I apologise. Just been to their website. They've now taken the hideous hospital green background off, and gone for black, with less gaps between the ads and borders of the map. It looks cleaner now, I can see no other changes to when I first started using it in 2003 (when I started this job). I still like their maps, but I've just realised only when I'm looking at addresses in London. Sorry guys, you got out-competed.

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Anonymous Coward

at least Streetmap has got location of my home correct. Google is off by 400m and I live in a town.

My whole postcode is transposed by 300-400m north. Total and abject failure.

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Anonymous Coward

Fixed

at least Google has got location of my home correct. Streetmap is off by 400km and I live in a town.

My whole postcode is transposed by 300-400km south. Total and abject failure.

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If you search for Maps on BIng you just get lots of links to google :P If google is to work as a search engine i would expect Google maps to be at the top as everybody in the entire world uses it.

Just because your loosing to a better product doesnt make the other company anti competitive.

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Happy

But isn't bing just a frontend for google searches: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/02/01/google_accuses_microsoft_of_copying_its_search_results/

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DJO
Devil

Sticky Wicket

Not sure if Streetmaps Ltd have a good case - If you type "Streetmaps" into Google the first result is Streetmaps.co.uk, if it returned Google's own service first or did not show Streetmaps at all or somewhere on page 45 of the results then they might have had a good case.

By all means go after Google when they have been truly evil but I don't think this one counts.

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JDX
Gold badge

Re: Sticky Wicket

now try searching "maps"

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DJO

Re: Sticky Wicket

now try searching "maps"

OK, hang on a bit while I look............

Well Google maps was obviously first, it would be churlish to expect anything else. Then a bunch of news items about "maps" (with a story from el Reg 1st - kudos), then Bing (heh heh), another Google then Streetmaps so being the 5th item on the first page is not really anything to complain about.

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Silver badge

Re: Sticky Wicket

searching "maps"?

What would you expect to come top in such a search?

(a) A service such as google or nokia, offering worldwide maps with lots of goodies?

(b) A service that's limited to one small island?

Hmmm ...

I wonder about "maps uk"?

(occasionally use streetmap, but find google online or nokia offline a whole lot better for everyday. Seems that websites that use maps, like for example zoopla and rightmove, do too.

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Silver badge

Re: Sticky Wicket

Oddly when I searched for 'map' on Google, Bing Maps came first, two entries for Google Maps next and then Streetmap. Seems fair to me.

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OSGR Coordinates

You can search by OSGR with Streetmap, or obtain OSGR coordinates after a search by place name. It is in other regards shite, but there is that.

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Anonymous Coward

Plenty of competition out there

There's lots of others doing a better job than streetview, their page layout is rubbish. I'm only interested in the map not all the whitespace around it. I personally use footpathmaps.com to view OS maps.

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Re: Plenty of competition out there

Thanks for the tip about fotpathmaps.com, but just visted it: got, "Sorry, we've run out of our allocation of data for today. The problem with a free service is we cannot afford to buy more data. Some tiles may appear blank.

Please try again later/tomorrow." It looks as if you may have Slashdotted the site!

I'll stick with Google Maps and the OS site, thanks.

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Facepalm

Anti-Competitive?

Google are just MORE competitive than them, they have a better product, simple as that...

Bing have a better maps

openstreetmap has better maps

THAT is why no one uses Streetmap.co.uk any more, because others were competitive and they were not...

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Anonymous Coward

fixed it for you

"Almunia has long said that he wants lots and lots of free Google bucks"

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Silver badge
Thumb Down

Errr....

I just Googled "Uk map" and "map" and without having to scroll the page at all I can see results offering me the choice of clicking to Google maps, Bing maps and Streemap.

Granted, most people simply use Google maps as it's built into the portal, but let's be honest - it's far superior and Streemap has simply failed to keep up.

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Re: Errr....

Yup, did the same. streetmaps is 5th in the results, under the googlemaps picture, googlemaps link, something called 'mapquest', a selection of links to this story on 4 websites, then something else I've never heard of 'maps of the world', then RAC Route planner, then streetmap.

Perhaps they should also be suing mapquest, mapsofthworld & the RAC too.

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JDX
Gold badge

A spokesman said: "We haven't seen this complaint."

Maybe you should search for it on the internet

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Hello, I am suing you becuase your product is better than mine, that is unfair.

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FAIL

Satnav...

I'm sure there are many factors that have resulted in StreetMap becoming less popular; its appalling interface, Sat-Nav becoming affordable, more eager mapping companies and mobile.

For instance, is there a StreetMap app? Because I can't find one on Google Play...

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StreetMap Out of Date

Just compared StreetMap with Google for my home town and StreetMap is out of date.

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Re: StreetMap Out of Date

opps... forgot to mention I compared the city centre where roads have been altered or closed and turned into pedestrian area.

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Good maps or good interface - your choice?

Streetmap uses OS maps which to my mind are far better than anything Google provides. But the interface is terrible and there is little functionality apart from the maps.

Google has horrible maps but a superb interface and excellent functionality.

Your choice!

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Silver badge
Coat

OS

Blimey do OS know??

They are gonna be pissed! imagijne the sales slump!

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Thumb Down

Re: Good maps or good interface - your choice?

@richard23 + others

You may wish to think again. the "OS maps are great" thing is a fine argument.....

Or it would have been if streetmap had bothered buying any new ones since 2009ish!

How is a $years out-of-date OS map (with very little added functionality really despite it being online and not paper) better than a very recent one used by google. Even the "streetview" cars are doing their second 'tour' of my town and I live in a small town in the east midlands. I cannot be alone in living in a town that has seen a few changes in the last 3-6 years since the last time streetmap bothered to buy new maps.

Or indeed since the last time streetmap bothered to do anything to their website, UI or funcitonality bar the odd cosmetic colour change, which I think is about the same timeframe.

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Horses for courses

I prefer streetmap because I primarily want to see in which locality a postcode is based. Being OS map derived, it's more authoritative and I can trust its place name spellings. Also, by clicking on its zoom bar (3rd one down) I get consistent scaling (scroll wheel zooming isn't good on my low bandwidth rural connection).

I have to use Google maps outside Britain of course :(.

NB: Its response times are hugely improved if the Ghosteria addon is deployed

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Facepalm

Re: Horses for courses

All of you people going on about OS maps. I'm sitting here, thinking: what does a Windows map look like, or a Fedora map?

Then I realized that you were referring to Ordinance Survey....

God, I feel stupid. Also, the above comments make sense, now.

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Headmaster

Re: Horses for courses

It's Ordnance - no 'i'. The OS was originally tasked with making it easier to deliver Ordnance.

Phil.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Ordinance Survey"

How satisfied on a scale of 1 to 10 are you with your local priest?

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Me too

To a great extent we, the users of computer systems are the biggest culprits of this or that company becoming dominant. We choose this or that product because it's better marketed and cheaper, and lo and behold they get better revenues, invest more in their product, give better dividends, that attracts more investment, and so on.

We have the IT landscape we chose, even if we didn't really want it, IT has since the 1990s had a "Me too" culture where the dominant players keep becoming more dominant because they are successful and the risk of doing different is too great for individuals or companies who don't want to be landed with expensive junk, be it software, hardware or service.

MS and Intel are being challenged not in their core market, but by a complete shift in the market driven by mobile devices, any bets that this won't be dominated by a single very large player in a few years, even if a lot is open source.

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