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 …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I remember streetmap...

      "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?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I remember streetmap...

        No they were crushed by rhe Japanese. .

    2. JetSetJim Silver badge

      Re: I remember streetmap...

      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.

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Not sure when Google last prevented me from viewing Streetmap, though

        "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.

        1. petur

          Re: Not sure when Google last prevented me from viewing Streetmap, though

          "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.

        2. jonathanb Silver badge

          Re: Not sure when Google last prevented me from viewing Streetmap, though

          If you type "streetmap" into Google, 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.

      2. Ru

        Re: I remember streetmap...

        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.

      3. Graham Marsden

        @JetSetJim - Re: I remember streetmap...

        "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.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Re: @JetSetJim - I remember streetmap...

          > 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....

        2. censored

          Re: @JetSetJim - I remember streetmap...

          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.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @JetSetJim - I remember streetmap...

          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.

          1. Graham Marsden

            Re: @JetSetJim - I remember streetmap...

            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.

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @JetSetJim - I remember streetmap...

              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.

              1. sabroni Silver badge


                >>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....

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: @ObnoxiousGit

                  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.

              2. Graham Marsden

                obnoxiousgit Re: @JetSetJim - I remember streetmap...

                "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...

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: obnoxiousgit @JetSetJim - I remember streetmap...

                  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?

                  1. Graham Marsden

                    Re: obnoxiousgit @JetSetJim - I remember streetmap...

                    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.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      @ Graham Marsden

                      "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.

                    2. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      @ Graham Marsden

                      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.

                      1. Graham Marsden


                        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...)

                        1. Anonymous Coward
                          Anonymous Coward

                          @ Graham Marsden.

                          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.

            3. plrndl

              Re: @JetSetJim - I remember streetmap...

              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.

            4. JetSetJim Silver badge

              Re: @JetSetJim - I remember streetmap...

              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+.

            5. Intractable Potsherd

              Re: @JetSetJim - I remember streetmap...@ Graham Marsden again

              I just saw your reply further down the page - I see you do favour the BBC solution ...

        4. plrndl

          Re: @JetSetJim - I remember streetmap...

          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.

        5. heyrick Silver badge

          Re: @JetSetJim - I remember streetmap...

          "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?

        6. ReefMSX

          Re: @JetSetJim - I remember streetmap...

          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?

        7. Intractable Potsherd

          Re: @JetSetJim - I remember streetmap... @ Graham Marsden

          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"?

    3. Matthew 3

      Re: I remember streetmap...

      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.

    4. Ian Johnston Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: I remember streetmap...

      Streetmap supplies proper OS maps. Google supplies their own home made, low quality abominations.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I remember streetmap...


    6. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      Re: I remember streetmap...

      "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.

      1. Intractable Potsherd

        Re: I remember streetmap... @ J.G. Harston

        "... 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.

    7. This Side Up

      Re: I remember streetmap...

      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.

  2. Ralph B
    FAIL Ltd. v Google Inc

    OK. Into browser; Enter ""; 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.

    1. Carlos.

      Re: Ltd. v Google Inc

      or try which seems to work just fine.

      1. Ralph B

        Re: Ltd. v Google Inc

        Try reading the article ... to the end. They call themselves Ltd.

        1. JetSetJim Silver badge

          Re: Ltd. v Google Inc

          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...

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. Ralph B

            Re: Ltd. v Google Inc

            The strange thing is, they do own the domain - they just haven't bothered to configure a redirect to their website.

        2. petur

          Re: Ltd. v Google Inc

          Not sure why Ralph B gets downvoted... If you call yourself (which looks like an internet address) at least make sure THAT works. Fair point.

  3. R 11

    Take a look

    I just took a look at their site.

    Here's what it looked like when Google came along,180500&st=4&ar=N&mapp=oldmap.srf&searchp=oldsearch.srf&ax=531500&ay=179500&lm=0

    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:,+Lambeth+&searchp=ids.srf&mapp=map.srf

    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.

    1. ShelLuser


      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.

      1. 27escape

        Re: @R11

        Same goes for double click, I nowadays expect zoom, rather than nothing

    2. Paul Shirley

      Re: Take a look... a long disappointed look

      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...

    3. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      Re: Take a look

      ...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.

  4. wowfood


    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.

  5. Smiles

    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.

    1. Miffo

      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.

      1. Mr Spock

        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.

        1. Intractable Potsherd

          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.

  6. Dr Paul Taylor

    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.

    1. MrXavia

      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....

      1. Dr Paul Taylor

        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.

      2. cpage

        Re: Streetmap is superior

        I agree. For most purposes 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.

    2. g e

      Re: Streetmap is superior

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

    3. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Re: Streetmap is superior


        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.


        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.

    4. Anonymous Coward

      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.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        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.

        1. Matthew 3

          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.

    5. Anonymous Coward

      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.

      1. Robert Forsyth

        Re: Streetmap is superior

        Yes, but the pedestrian route is often stupid.

    6. Rob Crawford

      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

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ... 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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 2009...

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

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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.

  8. I ain't Spartacus 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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        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.

  9. David 138

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      But isn't bing just a frontend for google searches:

  10. DJO Silver badge

    Sticky Wicket

    Not sure if Streetmaps Ltd have a good case - If you type "Streetmaps" into Google the first result is, 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.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Sticky Wicket

      now try searching "maps"

      1. DJO Silver badge

        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.

        1. SkippyBing 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.

      2. Nick Kew 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.

  11. Anonymous Coward 101

    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.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    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 to view OS maps.

    1. Intractable Potsherd

      Re: Plenty of competition out there

      Thanks for the tip about, 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.

  13. MrXavia


    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 any more, because others were competitive and they were not...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    fixed it for you

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

  15. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge
    Thumb Down


    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.

    1. kyza

      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.

  16. JDX Gold badge

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

    Maybe you should search for it on the internet

  17. AlanG79

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

  18. Rebajas


    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...

  19. John70

    StreetMap Out of Date

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

    1. John70

      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.

  20. Richard 23

    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!

    1. mark 63 Silver badge


      Blimey do OS know??

      They are gonna be pissed! imagijne the sales slump!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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.

  21. Jumble

    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

    1. Anonymous Coward

      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.

      1. PhilBuk

        Re: Horses for courses

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


        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Ordinance Survey"

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

  22. Otto is a bear.

    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.

  23. Will Godfrey Silver badge


    Well I use Streetmap as a walkers guide. Google doesn't seem to have any known walks identified and Openstreetmap has large omissions as well as errors.

    In particular I frequently walk sections of the North Downs Way (I've walked the whole length a couple of times). I only found one small error in Streetmap. I notified them of it and a few days later when I checked again it had been corrected.

    I agree the UI is pretty crap, but for me accuracy is much more important.

    1. Vinolent

      Re: Hmmm

      I use for a similar reason (walking). I just find it better than Streetmap as it lets me know postcodes for my Sat Nav.

  24. Barrie Shepherd

    Horses for Courses

    I grew up with OS 1:50,000 maps they are clear and easy to use (and I used Streetmaps to view them) but they don't have individual street names. Streetmaps then zooms into other maps which just don't cut it for me.

    When you are looking for particular streets Google are "streets ahead". As an example find Park W Place on Google - clearly visible,+Lambeth+&searchp=ids

    as opposed to Streetmaps,+Lambeth+&searchp=ids

  25. Barrie Shepherd

    Well there is another problem with Streetmaps the links don't link to what you have on the screen. I was trying to show how bad Streetmaps was at showing where Park West Place, London, City of Westminster, UK was.

  26. mark 63 Silver badge

    "We haven't seen this complaint."

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

    Well that really got their attention!

    They cant even tell if they're being sued.

    This is probly having the impact of a flea biting a dog

  27. heyrick Silver badge


    Hadn't heard of this before. Went, on my mobile, looked for "Silver Street, Bridgwater".

    (quote) The search returned no matches. Try removing numbers or shortening the name to the first five characters and try again.

    Went to Google Maps. And looked at a map of the place I used to live.

    Sorry Streetmap, but.......

  28. kyza

    Google isn't preventing anyone from accessing streetmaps

    It appears that many posters are missing the point. This isn't about whether streetmap is better and more accurate than google for when you go fell walking without a proper GPS. Hell - given some of the comments I'm amazed you're actually using these confounded lumps of silicon & plastics anyway - it sounds like you'd all be happier with an actual paper map with topography.

    If you want to use streetmaps you can. If you search for streetmaps it's the first result. If you search for 'maps uk' it's now the 2nd after google. Just searching for 'maps' it's 4th after google & bing. To say that google is abusing it's position by giving you it's own service is tosh - unless you're amazingly lazy the link to streetmap is right there, in your line of sight.

    This is an absolutely absurd legal action. If google weren't listing streetmap there might be a case, but it's there, right up front, on the first page, in the first 5 results.

  29. Rob Crawford

    New definition of UK address

    Seemingly have no clue regarding what the UK actually covers.

    Northern Ireland does not exist according to streetmap so in reality they should actually be asking for a GB address and not a UK address (a bit shit or what) and don't whine the OS do cover NI to the material is available.

    OK so they use OS maps, lets ask this question does it matter? In reality the answer will probably be no If you say yes please think if you are one of those who wear outdoor gear to wander about the supermarket freezer section and then reconsider your answer.

    (Yes I accept that some people who buy hiking gear actually do go hiking, but it's the same proportion who own a 4WD and take the damn thing off road or get the thing dirty)

    Google providing links to google maps, well I'm not surprised considering it's essentially a global service as opposed to a provincial service that doesn't even cover the region that it claims to cover.

    Personally I liked the Nokia service, but things like street view (so I could view my intended destination if I had never been there before) caused me to make the switch.

    As for Bing , our corporate expenses system used Bing to calculate the mileage and it's always wrong (not even a cigar for getting close)

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019