Maps: Melway was an early leader. Why aren't others following?
By cj on Jul 18, 2007
I was interested to read the O'Reilly Radar post on third party use of map data.
Forget discussion of the US being behind on Mobile phone technology, I recall being dismayed in the 1990's when I first saw the poor Bay Area street maps; hence you needed a laundry-list of instructions when driving.
Now I use Google Maps and am grateful there is a pictorial reference to complement written driving instructions. But Google Maps lacks visual clarity. Yahoo maps looks a better but it seems slow to me.
Overall both could still learn a thing or two from Melway. Even the very first edition of the Melway street directory, published in 1966, has good clarity: Look at the page covering the center of Melbourne (In this printed book, other maps show selected parts of the city in progressively greater detail). New editions are visually better still, as you'd hope after forty one years of yearly publication. Pity Melway is still print orientated. And it doesn't cover San Francisco.