Google vs OSM

Now I know Google are starting to roll out their new Maps interface but one thing they should really get sorted is their low-level city detail. Clancy Wilmott is in the final stages of organizing the Thinking and Doing Digital Mapping workshop at Warwick (17-18th June) and asked about transport plans in the Coventry area. Predictably my first thoughts were “let’s check Google Maps!” but unfortunately the results were less than satisfactory. Check below:

Coventry Google Maps

So I went onto OSM thinking I might find a more detailed picture of Coventry and this is what I got:

Coventry OSM

And wow, what a difference. If Google really want to be known as Cartographic Kings of the World then they need to sort out this kind of quality issue. Yes, okay the satellite layer sort of makes up for this loss of information, but when large swathes of city centres are completely greyed out then you can’t really claim any victories on quality. OSM beats Google hands down on the urban intricacies.

Google Map Maker Comes to the UK I

Users in the UK can now do all the things they could do on OSM (!) now on Google Maps with it’s ‘Map Maker’ tool. Map Maker ‘Pulse’ is a live window of these map edits. Users can add new places, roads, rivers, building outlines, natural features and boundaries as well as editing existing places, line features, road segments and directions.