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Yahoo launches next battle in map wars

Yahoo shifted the landscape a bit in the map wars Thursday as it unveiled the latest beta of its Mapping program.


The new tool uses Flash technology and is more tightly integrated with Yahoo Local. New features allow users to drag-and-drop specific businesses into the route, or click on the browser's Back button to see earlier versions of a map.

Some bloggers applauded the new tools, particularly the company's use of Flash.

But others wondered whether it really mattered, saying that while Yahoo and Microsoft may come up with better tools, Google has already won the hearts and minds of users.

Blog community response:

"Unlike Google and Microsoft maps, Yahoo has chosen to use Flash over AJAX in building its new service, and they've added new features that are not found anywhere else. They've also done some things to reduce the hassle of creating, sharing and printing maps online."

"This is probably the best validation of Flash as a serious alternative to AJAX to date. Yahoo! Maps Beta has debuted and it is in Flash. There is also an AJAX version for the .0001 (percent) of people who don't have Flash installed."

"It's not about maps, it's about the advertising platform that Google has built. It's not about prettiness, it's about who has the most user generated content."

"It looks like Yahoo! Maps is trying to look like Google Maps - perhaps a bit too much."