Tech writers go crazy for in depth digital map comparisons but I think quick glance comparisons are better and tell you more. Here’s a quick look at Ikebukuro station in Tokyo with Apple Maps, Yahoo Japan Maps and Google Maps.
Maps should use ‘on the street’ signage so that users can visually orient themselves. The real world and the virtual world must connect. Everyone in Japan knows that station exits look like this:
Yellow. How much yellow do you see in Apple Maps? The Apple Maps cartography team did not bother matching station exit colors with the real world, stations and exits are purple. The transit team however got the yellow exit color right. Unfortunately the teams did not coordinate the information. A confusing map.
What’s shocking is that Google Maps does not bother showing station exits at all. Good luck telling your Google Maps user friend to meet up at Ikebukuro Station East Exit.
As usual Yahoo Japan Maps gets it right again.