For many, Google Maps is the be all end of all of the map apps and for good reason. They have nearly perfected the program making it more than just a tool to get you from point A to B. Whether you need restaurant reviews, an Uber ride, traffic information or even the weather, the app has truly become a one-stop shop for convenience. That being said, there are plenty of worthy competitors out there. You don’t have to entirely ditch your favorite map app now but at least give these a chance. After all, an open mind leads to universal understanding and peace, so why not take part in something like that?
1. MAPQUEST: THE OG GOOGLE MAPS
Remember 1996? What a year. The decade was half over and Bill Clinton was still cool. Coincidentally, Mapquest came to popularity the same year, however, their roots go back further back than you think. MapQuest was founded in 1967 as Cartographic Services. It dominated the field of cartography for years until eventually becoming Mapquest in 1996 and changing our perception of navigation. No more unfolding that complicated paper map on a road trip. Mapquest allowed users to simply print off their directions and hit the road. While Mapquest has since remained in the shadow of Google Maps, however, they are still around. Check them out for a bit of nostalgia.
2. MULTIMAP: MICROSOFT’S GOOGLE MAPS
Might you be thinking “Multi-map? That’s not Microsoft is it?”. Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but it’s the truth. The troubled Microsoft search engine Bing used to have a map function of their own. In fact, they still do but they just happened to change the name. With all the negative attention Bing has been getting, that makes sense. MultiMap may seem like something else entirely but once users click the link, they are brought to Bing.com. Say what you will about the program but it’s certainly no Google Maps. That being said if you want something a little more stripped down. Check out Bing, or Multimap rather.
3. YAHOO MAP: KIND OF LIKE GOOGLE MAPS
So apparently, every major search engine has a map app of their own. Yahoo’s version is a free online mapping portal provided by, you guessed it, Yahoo! To further spice up the portal, Yahoo! included weather from the Weather Channel and even local reviews powered by Yelp. Unlike Google, Yahoo! has a bad reputation sometimes but their map portal has some impressive features. Furthermore, a new and improved Yahoo! Local Map has been recently made available. It offers a map with more interactivity for broadband users. Watch out Google.
4. MAPS.COM: MORE MAP THAN GOOGLE MAPS
For those that don’t know, Maps.com is the top provider of mapping products to businesses, educational outlets and consumer markets. Essentially, if you need a map, this is the place to get it. Maps.com is more than just custom map creation, though. They also do digital content licensing and publishing. Furthermore, they work with real estate, cruise lines, ticket brokers, major travel guide publishers and more, Google may be the most convenient for your smartphone or portable device but Maps.com is what the professional map-heads use. You wouldn’t settle for less with your map and neither does Maps.com.
5. HERE WeGO: ANDROIDS ANSWER TO GOOGLE MAPS
You may remember the popular Android map app HERE Maps. Well, forget about it. It doesn’t exist anymore. The company has rebranded itself to HERE WeGo. According to them, the previous name was just a bit too generic. In a way, they are right. Plus, their app is far from generic so it’s good they are distancing themselves from such mediocrity. In fact, the majority of users don’t even use the app for a map. The best part about Here WeGo is finding a way to get somewhere in the shortest amount of time possible. Furthermore, the app also has cool options like car-sharing services and taxi info. Google Maps has the deal with Uber, but this is on another level entirely.
6. PIN IN THE MAP: WAY DIFFERENT THAN GOOGLE MAPS
If you want a replacement for Google, Pin in the Map is probably not for you. However, it is a cool website worth checking out. Pin in the Map allows you to send anyone you want a map in seconds. All it takes is a click and a drop of the pin. The pin marks the spot and soon enough, anyone can have a detailed map of the world. Furthermore, you can even attach some info about a given spot on the map. Maybe this street has you favorite burger joint and you want your friends to know. Whatever information you think belongs on a map, feel free to add it.
7. WIKIMAPIA: THE WIKIPEDIA OF GOOGLE MAPS
What happens when you combine Wikipedia and maps? You get Wikimapia. According to their website, Wikimapia is an open-content mapping project aimed at marking every single geographical object in the world and even offering useful descriptions. Since there are more than a couple geographical objects out there, one can imagine this is quite an undertaking. Somehow, Wikimapia manages to create and maintain a free, complete , multi-lingual and updated map of the whole world. If Google Maps was an encyclopedia it would be Wikimapia.
8. VPIKE: GOOGLE MAPS FOR THE VITURAL TOURIST
Have you ever been sitting down, eating dinner and wondering what I-95 looked like right now? Of course, it’s a pressing question we have all battled with in our life. Google Maps can only tell us so much but fortunately, there are other options. VPike.com is your virtual turnpike. It provides area photos, local traffic conditions, map measurement tools,driving directions and more. Whether you want to get familiar with an area before you go there or simply sit at home and travel the turnpikes of the world, you can with VPike.
9. STREETMAP.CO.UK: GOOGLE MAPS FOR BRITS
The English blokes across the pond are people too and like us, they need to navigate their twisted and dirty streets. Sure, the could use Google Maps but why bother when they have a specially designed app for themselves? Do they even have Google over there? The interface of Streetmap.co.uk is nothing too fancy, however, don’t judge it by looks alone. This site offers business services, hotel booking and a comprehensive search feature that will bring you to anywhere in Great Britain. Yes, even Birmingham.
10. STARMAP.COM: GOOGLE MAPS FOR STALKERS
You’ve kept up with Kardashian’s but is that really enough? Wouldn’t you want to know where they live so you can set up a tent city outside their lavish estate? Of course, you do and with StarMap.com, now you can! Unlike Google, StarMap provides accurate and verified information regarding your famous celebrities. Get lost in the winding roads of Beverly Hills as you and your stalker friends go past the home of actors, athletes, and business moguls that call the area home.
If you’re questioning the legality of such a business, don’t worry about it. StarMap is 100% legal. You can even get your own physical, StarMap from their website for $14.99. Sure, you could wait outside the studios to try to get a glance of your favorite actors but why not just go right to the source? It may not get you around like Google but you’ll forget all about that when you become best friends with Robert Downey Jr.