Another day, another market disaster in the making
How long before they MS wreck the Multimap product/service, same as MS wrecked Autoroute soon after they bought Nextbase (the company which originally brought you Autoroute)?
Global OS leviathan Microsoft has continued buying trendy stuff, announcing that it had bought UK ad-driven mapping service Multimap today. "This acquisition will play a significant role in the future growth of our search business and presents a huge opportunity to expand our platform business beyond the UK and globally," said …
at least the Beast of Redmond is consistent in it's desire to take perfectly adequate products and services and totally ruin them. so what's next, Multimap 2008 Professional Upgrade SR-1 or one of a dozen other variants that M$ can threaten users over if they aren't sure what version they're licenced for?
(it's a sore point because I just told an M$ rep to fook for daring to suggest that I had to my software audits for M$ convenience, rather than when I decide. Come that tone with me, Bill, and I'll Linux all me boxes!)
I use Google Maps mostly, unless I need to use a train - in which case, it's Streetmap, since Google inexplicably fails to show stations. Both have a usefully large map area (unlike Multimap) and load reasonably fast (unlike Multimap).
So really, Multimap is an ideal fit for Microsoft. Demonstrably worse, yet somehow more popular...
I used to like multimap until they google-ised the site - never found streetmap much use and google maps has only recently got its act to gether. Ah well, another one bites the dust - looking forward to the day when Business Inc does everything for everyone from cradle to grave.
Needless to say, I'll never knowingly use a MicroSoft software product.
Having been an initial fan of Multimap a couple of years back, I have since completely given up on their retarded directions. 3 times I have been directed off motorways, only to be re-directed back onto the self same stretch of tarmac having buggered off down a country road for half a day or so.
Multimap have been peddling Microsoft's Web services mapping for years now (to make up for their lack of a decent mapping SDK).
The next company on the list has to be DeCarta - Multimap recently leveraged into this company.
I would question the value of this investment - in the last 12 months Multimap has been losing small clients hand over fist to the 'free' Google Map's application. Apart from marketshare (to compete against Google Maps Enterprise), there is not a whole lot of benefit in trying to keep this lame duck afloat.
What a steaming pile of shite.
Typing multimap.co.uk now just gets you re-directed to the .com site - where they don't even bother to check where you've come from and dump you in front of a map of Yankland. How thoughtful.
There's a dropdown provided, from which poor unfortunate foreigners are allowed to select their inferior non US domicile. The UK is cleverly hidden in the list under "B".
No doubt the already mangled site is now doomed to fail. Microsoft will presumably put its waining appeal down to "anti Microsoft sentiment" or some such.
Alas poor Multimap...
when they "updated their website". I then noticed they had a "use the old site" button, so I still get to look at the OS Landranger maps. It really helps to know to turn left at the Church or Pub when navigating through small country roads. You lose all of that detail when using the new site (IIRC, I've 1.2GB of the Landranger maps downloaded from them, all calibrated nicely - I was very bored).
@ AC: I've always used the .com site, and it's always taken me to the UK version. Are you using some funky ISP which gives out IPs from a subnet allocated to the US?
@Tony Barnes: I hope you aren't one of the people taking the piss out of the woman that didn't realise she had parked on arailway line (it wasn't on the satnav your honour). It really pays to have some idea where you're going and not follow directions blindly.
That's not the case for me. I was redirected to .com but was presented with a map of the UK and just enough of our neighbours to be useful.
I haven't used Multimap proper in yonks. I just use one of the many outside implementations of their API that run in 100% of the screen space and without any extra Googlification. But I guess that'll be switched off to non-paying customers now too...
Hats off to you guys - that's a really clear mapping service that shows useful points of interest and correctly labels my street as having a dead end, unlike google, TomTom et al.
I've lost count of the number of times I've seen cars driving up our street at 30mph only to be confronted with a set of bollards whilst their SatNav is telling them to turn left/right!
If you get the routing going I'll happily switch from using Google Maps (street view and terrain is quite cool, but not actually that useful - give me train stations!)
Multimap has been crap for years - it's such a shame as they were a pioneer of free-mapping on the Internet. Perhaps Microsoft's investment might actually improve things. I tried following directions from a Google map, an absolute pile of bollocks that managed to get the map orientation complelely wrong. Get an AtoZ and avoid all this useless online bollocks - it only exists to sell you adverts anyway.
I did have some idea where I was going each trip. North, south, and then south again.
Not having satnav at the time, and having a fiance who's idea of map reading is more akin with a lesson in how to break up a relationship, I entrusted Multimap to do what it said it could whilst taking me to places I had never been near before.
More fool me.
I've been using Google Maps for awhile now as I found it much better than multimap. The number of times Google showed the right location of a postcode and Multimap was wrong.
Plus I love being able to switch to arial view. Useful for when turing up to a client's site I know what to expect (lay of the land etc)
Multimap's servers seem to be running Apache. I suspect I can guess what OS it's not running on.
I wonder if in future their ads^H^H^H maps will be served by IIS and Windows Server.
Or is there some compelling reason not to build a huge mapping service like this on IIS and Windows Server.
"Hats off to you guys - that's a really clear mapping service that shows useful points of interest and correctly labels my street as having a dead end, unlike google, TomTom et al."
That's because a volunteer with local knowledge has entered the information. But the amazing thing about openstreetmap.org is that if it hadn't been done, you could sign up as a user and 2 minutes later be adding it using the Flash-based map editor (which works in Linux) on the website.
Try this - go to google maps and ask for directions from Buckingham to Cambridge... now look at the map. Anything missing? Milton Keynes... anyone, anywhere? I'm not arguing the merits of this decision, btw, just pointing out that directions/maps are fairly useless is they fail to show bleeding great eyesore sitting along the route you're driving through.
How many others are there, who can you believe?
They guess the region you are interested from ip address. I'd have thought that it might have occurred to the developers that as I'd gone to the trouble of typing .co.uk they might be able to glean some sort of clue about the map I'd like to use. Seems to work well for Google! I forget that Microsoft's geeks always think they know what's best for you ;-)
There's always Streetmap I suppose. It's always been the best for coordinates anyway.
...and Open Streetmap is looking VERY promising too.
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