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A Review of Online Mapping Sites: Rand McNally

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This is part 7 of a 9 part series reviewing online mapping sites. Click here for the introduction to the series.

Rand McNally offers a functional but non-descript map to its users. The search tool is fairly standard but it does not require a user to specify a country. Being that there are only two countries to choose from (Canada and the US) this is probably a good thing. Once having visited the search page, it does remember what addresses you have looked for.

The initial map is fairly small (492 x 292 pixels) but there is an option to create a larger map. There are 10 zoom levels. Maps contain roads, railroads, water bodies (although minor water boides are shown as single lines) and provincial or state parks. Major roads appear as double lines and minor roads and streets show up as single lines. The placement of street names appears clunky and does not curve to follow features. In some case, text ran into other text. One way streets were not indicated. Maps appeared colourless and somewhat bland.

To get directions from point A to point B, it is necessary to navigate to another page, two clicks of the mouse away. There is a fastest / shortest option but in the test case this did not seem to make a difference. The directions provided seemed to me to be unusual.

In case I felt the need for better or more maps than what I was being offered on the web, Rand McNally advertised its own paper road atlases and told me what page I'd be able to find my destination on.

In short: the Rand McNally online mapping site is adequate for finding locations but not directions. With other sites offering similar products, it’s probably best to go elsewhere.

Tomorrow: Yahoo! Maps

1 Responses to “A Review of Online Mapping Sites: Rand McNally”

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