I am not too familiar with the pitfalls of version 1.0 but according to Ask’s press release the new system accounts for the US-english vs UK-english language barrier (i.e. an ‘exit’ on a motorway is considered a ‘junction’ in the UK). The other improvements included:
- Receive driving directions for up to ten different destinations at one time. In other words, plan your driving route for an entire day of errands - pretty cool.
- It now includes walking directions.
- “Landmark Assistance” is included which, I presume, allows you to find your way to particularly popular points of interest; this would be quite handy on a holiday!
- Subway stations are marked for those who wish to get around a little quicker.
- Curious about how everything might look in a particular location? Try the satellite view which will give you a decent photo view of the surroundings.
- Satellite shots are available for purchase on the fly… odd but okay.
- If you search for any UK city within Ask Search you will be presented with a myriad of city details including hot spots, links to maps, tips, etc.
All-in-all I feel I should reiterate that Ask really has the right approach… be the best you can be at your particular niches and you will get noticed. I think Ask is playing the sure and steady approach and I believe that will steadily grab marketshare as long as they don’t play any more ridiculous commercials 😛
Here is a great comment that Ask received from what is definitely a winning response to this new version:
Oh yes, I’d like to congratulate you on your maps.
I’ve never used Ask.com before seriously, aside from just testing out one or two things; but that was until I found your maps had walking directions.
For me, someone who doesn’t own a car and travels mostly by foot or public transport, this was a really nice feature - and one that works well.
So congratulations; you’ve done good with this maps malarky and I’ll be using your map service from hereonin.
One thing I would like to see, but this would be a harrowingly long and tedious job, is to see a mapping system that recognises subways and narrow paths. This route suggested by Ask, for example, would be much quicker if you nipped under the subway.