October 31, 2007
Introducing the New Ask Maps UK
Our goal: to get more people to use Ask UK's Maps service. Our solution: introduce a new version, with new features. Now, thanks to a joint effort across several Ask.com offices, we've succeeded in delivering an Ask Maps service well worth talking about, with features that we think will have you coming back for more.
Bringing the US Along for the Ride
When you work with teams that cross boundaries, it’s often little details that take the longest to get right. In the UK, when you come off a motorway, you call it a "junction;" in the US you call it an "exit." And when it comes to prioritizing landmarks like museums and other points of interest in our search results, we worked closely with our US development team to advise them as to the more popular UK sites.
In addition to the new features, we've extended Ask Maps to cover the UK and Ireland. So if you're planning an Autumn trip around the British Isles, make sure you give it a go.
Driving You Sane
You can give our new driving directions up to ten different destinations and it will plot a route between them.
Getting There On Foot
(BTW, Google/Yahoo!/MSN Live Maps do not provide walking directions. Nice!)
Our UK map plots not only streets, but several thousand points of interest. Ask UK Maps cover museums (try the National Gallery), historic buildings (go for the Tower of London), parks (a stroll in Regent's Park, perhaps?) and many others.
If walking through London is wearing you out, take the underground! The tube stations are marked on our maps (they are the little red circles with a blue line across them).
Get a Birds-Eye Perspective With Aerial View
If you want to know what things look like before you even get there, use the
satellite imagery. Just click on the "Aerial" link and zoom right
in. If you like the picture a lot, you can even buy it! Just click on the "BuyPoster"
And remember, you can also bookmark a map view that you like, email it to a friend or print the driving directions. Click on the options on the top right-hand side of the map.
UK Maps, Smarter Than Ever
Now you can start your city searches right from the Ask UK home page. Type in the name of any major UK city on our web search, and you will get a Smart Answer with not only a link to the map, but a whole lot of other information, like links to local travel traffic information, tourist advice and virtual tour.
When you have a project team spread over four or five different geographical
locations and several time zones--on a product with very specific local quirks--it's
quite a challenge. But the team worked hard to make it happen, and on time too!
--Koji Kawano and Daniel Mermelstein
International Product Management
May 31, 2006
Ask.com Maps: Aerial Europe
The first thing people usually try to do with our mapping product is look for an aerial shot of their house or where they grew up. Call it "vanity searching" for maps. Being from the Netherlands, that was a difficult proposition with all of the existing products out there. But with the launch of our Maps that is no longer the case.
Here is a shot of the town I grew up in.
Here is the university I went to in Eindhoven.
Working on our aerial maps makes it hard to get homesick. :)
Not only do we have great maps coverage for the Netherlands, but also for a lot of Western Europe and even parts of Northern and Eastern Europe. We hope to cover the entire world at some point, but this is a great start for our users in Europe.
Here are some other interesting shots:
Take a look around and let us know if you spot anything interesting.
Ask.com Site Research and Development