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Ask.com Maps and Directions

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It used to be that you could ask Jeeves, the butler, a question and he would provide an answer. Jeeves, apparently, has lost his job and now all you have to do is ask. Ask.com offers, among other things, maps and directions, similar to other internet mapping sites. Navigation about the maps will be familiar to Google Local users: drag to pan with a zoom tool in the top left corner. Also familiar is the ability to toggle between a map view, a satellite / air photo view and a hybrid of the two.

Currently maps and aerial images frequently appear with tiles missing. Distances for directions are given in miles but users have an option of selecting between driving and walking directions. The maps appear simple and clean and include such data layers as major buildings and landmarks, parks and water features. The latter, however, is not very detailed and sometimes shows only a line where a lake should appear.

One (cartographic) advantage Ask.com has over Google Local is that smaller scale satellite images appear seamless, employing only Landsat imagery, instead of the patchwork of imagery that appears in Google’s maps.

In short: Looks good but is currently slow and unreliable in terms of displaying complete maps and images.

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