Google Maps and MapQuest Driving Directions Compared

I realize I am probably dating myself just a little… but web based map services like Google Maps or MapQuest just astonish me. Whoever figured out how to map any block on the planet in 5 seconds has got to be rich… if not they should be.

If you never tried this wonderful service, go to maps.google.com right now. It doesn’t matter where you are going… the shortest most up to date driving instructions and maps are seconds away.

G-Maps has been my choice for a few years already. The know-how in the geo-mapping arena has advanced remarkably yielding amazing immediate maps of most of the planet and directions to just about any place in the world.

I’m going to do a brief review of these three, which hopefully will save you some exploration time when you enter the websites.

I switched to Google Maps after using MapQuest for nearly 8 years (more about MapQuest below). What switched my allegiance after all those years, was examining the instructions at Google Maps. You know, when all else fails read the instruction?

It is a marvelous piece of technology which will present you with both maps nearly anywhere in the world and detailed driving instructions in many countries.

To try and cover all of Google Maps in this review would fail, so let’s look at the central features of the site and you can uncover the rest when you arrive there.

You can see earth satellite images all over the planet and superimpose streets on those satellite images, it’s very cool. All the key map categories are available to view.

You can see people wandering around Sagrada Familia in Barcelona or read the home plate logo at Coors field in Denver. In many parts of the world, you can also generate point to point driving directions.

Another exclusive feature of Google Maps is that it lets you to alter the route it has laid out for you, simply by dragging the route marking to another point. We often know alternate routes, learned by experience that we want to stick to. The other services will not let you change the path… with Google Maps it’s easy.

Rand McNally has been making road atlases for a very long time. Word has it that Fred Flintstone used their atlas. They still favor the printed map or atlas and publish a lot of them. Next time you stop at a gas station check by the register, I bet you’ll find Rand McNally atlases for sale. Now, having said that, they have excellent e-maps and directions. I find them especially effective for comparing routes with Google or MapQuest as a double check kind of thing.

MapQuest has been around since the good old days of the internet… 1996… so by e-standards, it’s very old if not ancient. AOL bought it in 2000 and remains in charge.

I have used Map Quest thousands of times and they always deliver. They have great maps for the US, Canada and Europe but are weaker in the rest of the planet in their quality and detail. US directions are totally detailed and usually very accurate. In some growth areas they can be a little behind, simply because of trying to stay current with new growth can be challenging.

The last chief feature on MapQuest, is that it will search for the least expensive gas or diesel no matter where you are in the US. It’s a good way to keep an eye on your fuel budget and it only takes about 30 seconds.

Between the three of these websites, you should be able to find your way around anywhere on the planet.

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Bradford, West Yorkshire – A Model For Urban Renewal

During the Industrial Revolution, Bradford was the center of the West Riding wool industry. The textile industry at Bradford dates back to the 13th century. It was during the 19th century that Bradford cloth; especially worsted cloth, made in Bradford became particularly prized. To keep up with the demand many mills were built along with the support facilities required keeping the mills running.

Due to the decline of the textile industry in the area in the 1920’s many mills and warehouses stood vacant and deteriorating. These mills have been converted into apartments, gallery spaces, contemporary design studios and high technology companies.

Over the centuries, Bradford has drawn immigrants from a multitude of countries. This diverse population has provided for a great cultural diversity. This cultural diversity and the subsequent feelings of discrimination led to unrest and rioting in 2001.

Bradford is one of the few cities that were not created on a navigable waterway. The Bradford Canal was dug in 1774 and was closed in 1866. Plans exist to reopen and repair the canal to create recreational opportunities.

Bradford is accessible by train, automobile and air transport. The Leeds Bradford International airport provides air transport; over 70 destinations are available from Leeds Bradford. The airport through expansion expects to provide services to over 7 million travelers by 2015.

Bradford through its forward thinking and sometimes highly controversial urban renewal projects is taking itself from an Industrial Revolution city to a modern state of the art one. The conversion of factories and warehouses to both homes and places of business provide a stable base for the population of Bradford. Bradford, with an eye on the future provides a model for many cities suffering from the decline of a manufacturing based economy.

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Barcelona Soccer Team Facts

Barcelona is a city long in love with sports, especially the Barcelona Soccer Team.

In addition to hosting the 1992 Summer Olympics, Barcelona hosted parts of the 1982 Football World Cup and has hosted the X FINA World Championship and Eurobasket. The city has two UEFA 5-star rated football stadiums: FC Barcelona’s Nou Camp and the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys.

FC Barcelona’s soccer team is almost a way of life in Barcelona. The rivalry with Madrid rises almost to the point where Barcelona can be considered the Catalonia national team. FC Barca was founded on 29 November 1899 by Joan Gamper, who created the team colors of blue and claret from the Swiss canton in which he lived. Barcelona lost its first ever match with some English expatriates 0-1, but within ten years began a string of Catalan and Spanish championships lasting decades. FC Barcelona went though tough times in the rise to the Spanish Civil War and its aftermath, but was able to recover and by the mid 1940s resumed its championship ways.

FC Barcelona is a sports club containing basketball, handball, hockey, ice-hockey, figure skating, indoor football, rugby, baseball, volleyball and women’s football, but the jewel in the crown has always been association football, or the Barcelona Soccer Team. The Barcelona team has qualified every year for the European competition since it was founded in 1955.

The club motto is “Més que un club” and they refer to their stadium as “Camp Nou.” In English these are “More than a club” and “Our Ground.” Despite a slump at the turn of the century, FC Barcelona has assembled a talented team and once again resumed winning ways. The club currently has a five-year deal with UNICEF, wearing the emblem on their jerseys and paying $1.9 million a year for the privilege.

Among the many claims to fame of the Barca team are that it has more victories than any other Association Football team in the world. They also have more wins in the Copa del Rey, the Spanish tournament, than any other team with 24 victories. There are 18 La Liga Championships, 7 Supercopa de Espana, 2 EUFA Champions League, 4 EUFA Winner’s Cups, 3 Inter-Cities Fairs Cups, 1 Inter-City Fairs Cup Trophy Play-off, 2 European Super Cups, 2 Copa Latina, 4 Copa de Oro Argentina, 22 Catalan Championships, 2 Copa Martina Rossi, 4 Coupe de Pyrenees, 1 Mediterranean League, 2 Copa de Ligua, 1 Copa Barcelona, 1 Lligua Catalana, 5 Copa Catalana and one Little World Cup. It is little wonder Barcelona has embraced the Barcelona Soccer Team and reveres it as a symbol of Catalonia.

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