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Google Maps More Useful in North America

click to view on Share on OviWhile on vacation in Alabama, I spent a lot of time using Google Maps on my Nokia device. I could have used Nokia Maps–and I should have, given it’s dogfood–but Nokia Maps fails to find anything in North America. It couldn’t find a single Wal-Mart in Alabama, yet there is one about every other exit off the Interstate.

During my vacation, Google Maps got updated. Aside from the change in icon for the application itself, one new feature I noticed was that the app now shows the direction you are driving with a little arrow, which you can see here. It changes direction quite a bit when stopped at a traffic light, but when in motion, it is fairly accurate.

The one feature that Nokia Maps does have that Google Maps does not is the ability to sideload the maps–something I did with Nokia Maps “just in case.” However, I was in network range every time I needed to use Google Maps.

Google Maps was not perfect. It found stores that did not exist and could do a much better job caching the maps it previously downloaded in previous sessions. However, until Nokia Maps can find shops at least as good as Google Maps can in my part of the world, I won’t be using it, at least where I have data connectivity.

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