Yahoo Maps puts its emphasis on local online maps and driving directions, though international maps are available. It integrates with the Yahoo search engine to offer detailed information about businesses and points of interest on the map, although it doesn’t have the most extensive business profiles in online map industry.
When you allow your computer to access your location, the service’s landing page includes a map of your current location, in addition to the basic search fields. The layout is simple and uncluttered, with a blue design that complements, but doesn’t overshadow, the map. The search fields don’t require a zip code or exact address to attempt a search. Even though it has a simple design, Yahoo Maps offers many features and resources on the page and on the map itself.
As mentioned above, Yahoo Maps is a useful site for driving directions. The online maps include draggable routes, live traffic information and easy-to-find tools you can use to send your map to yourself by email or text message. When you use it for driving directions, Yahoo Maps provides both a map of your route and turn-by-turn instructions. Below the set of instructions are options for reverse directions and round trip directions, both of which are useful features when traveling in a new area.
At the top of the map, there are print and save options. There is also a quick menu that can change the directions to one of the five most commonly spoken languages, as well as an option to view current traffic along your mapped route. In addition, you can choose between map, satellite and hybrid views.
You can search for businesses by name or business type within the mapped area. Search results appear in a list below the driving directions. You can click More Info next to these results to view a business’s Yahoo profile or click on Directions To/From to add the selected location to your route.
To view an international map on this site, you can either type the location in the search field or simply drag the map to the desired country and begin zooming in. Once you’ve situated the map with your target location in the middle, you can search the area for businesses and other points of interest.
The only options for exporting from Yahoo Maps are to send your map to your email inbox to a cellular phone via text message. Online maps on this site cannot be saved as pictures or exported directly to mobile or GPS devices.
Yahoo Maps has a very user-friendly system for searching and adjusting maps. The site is very functional without a lot of clutter. Its various features and functions are found along the edges of the map, and the search fields along the left margin are more flexible than those on most map sites; for example, there is a keyword search function that doesn’t require an exact address.
This site has prominently displayed help and support options, starting with the Help/Policies tab on the top right corner of the map. People with Yahoo accounts can enjoy more tools for saving online maps, and the Yahoo toolbar is also configured to work with the map service, making it possible to use it without first navigating to the Yahoo Maps landing page.
Yahoo Maps works well and is a great resource for the most common online map requests, including printing out driving directions, finding nearby businesses and planning trips. Yahoo integrates its map options into the page so they are neither obtrusive nor difficult to find when needed. The bonus of being able to search a map by keyword is a great feature when exploring a new area.