Monday, March 12, 2007

Witz Pickz: Mapquest

Remember the world before the internet? I can't-- not seriously at least. I remember things, but they seem to have very little to do with this world that we live in. I remember things that make me think I was a freakin' genius before the internet. Like I used to know how to seek out things and find them myself. I used to know how to use ridiculous things like use a phone book, and the library card catalog, and encyclopedias. Do you think when the internet came out Encyclopedias just went, "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh SHIT." But the craziest thing that we used to have to do was figure out how to get places. And not just places where we knew someone who could tell us. Not just call em up, ask how, and then get, "yeah, go here, turn here, left I don't know any street names..." I mean like...unique...locations. Places we'd never known before. A place we heard rumors of. We would bust out a freaking MAP and have to track down relatively where a location was. If it was something like 2224058 New Britain Ave, well, it would be "find New Britain Ave and drive in the direction as the numbers went up." That was it. That's how we navigated. Holy shit.

Flash forward. Mapquest exists. All of a sudden you can find anything, anywhere. And you can find out how to get there. And you can find places along the way, landmarks, hotels, highway and non-highway routes. Revolution. Suddenly, travel is not so hard as it once was. The world shrinks, or at least gets a lot less mysterious. Mapquest.

Now, a lot of people keep telling me, "You still use mapquest?? Google Maps is so much better." or even, "Yahoo maps, man, yahoo maps." Well eff them. I'm sick of hearing about it. Google, yahoo, they're all the same thing. A slightly more annoying interface and a bigger brand name to go along with them. "But google earth--" --be quiet. Google Earth does nothing for getting me to my soccer games. I don't need to see where the trees nearby are, I just need the directions there. So give me the original. I'll stick by them. because MAPQUEST changed my world; all of our worlds. Let google have their search. Let Yahoo have their fantasy sports. But Let Mapquest have their maps. They do a damn good job at it.



Sarasaur said...

Amen, brother navigator, amen!

Thomas J. Brown said...

If you don't like Google Earth, check out World Wind.

Alas, I must disagree with you about Mapquest, though. True, they were the original, but Google long ago earned my brand loyalty.

IrishGal said...

Eff Mapquest. I agree that they are definitely the originators but, man, I get LOST using their directions. And no, it has nothing to do with my own orientation skills. Case in point: "Mapquesting" my old address in Utah brings up a lil' red star TWO MILES from the actual address. Ridiculous.

Here's a better question: How the hell did European backpackers meet up with their fellow backpackers before the Internet came along? Chance? Homing pigeons?

JKow said...

it mystifies that you could write an article mentioning mapquest, google maps, and yahoo maps WITHOUT referencing "Lazy Sunday".

btw, as someone who HATES change... ieven i have moved on from mapquest.