Open Streetmap v Google smackdown

24 April 2015

While everybody seems to be using Google maps, the quality of the maps in Open Streetmaps has quietly surged ahead. Now the detail and useful information on OSM easily beets Google into the covers. Here is a simple example of a location in Reading that I know well.

osm screenshot

Open Streetmap of and area in Reading UK

google map screenshot

Google maps of the same location


The street names are there in the Google version, and one or two building outlines. Bus stops are in both, but in OSM these all have labels. Many more amenities are in OSM that Google, and they probably score equally on businesses. I would have thought that Google would have many more businesses, but perhaps these are not all displayed in trying to keep the map clean.

Try it yourself and see if you can find an area where Google is better!

The Google OS announcement

22 July 2009

Everyone seems to be going crazy about the new Google chrome operating system. Most of the reports are either saying that it will replace Microsoft, or will only replace Linux as a niche OS offering.

I take a completely different view on this. The important thing is that Google have the business mussel to make sure that there is a choice of OS on computers in the major retailers. When there is a choice of operating systems there will be unstoppable pressure for retailers to offer other choices. This is where the other Linux distributions will get their opportunity. And once the choice is put in front of the non-technical public MS wont have a chance. The range of choices and the speed of development will leave any closed development offerings behind on presentation and functionality, especially if there is a price differential for the Microsoft option.

Microsoft have bought back the netbook market with reductions in price for Windows XP, and probably lots of unethical, or illegal deals with OEM’s. Linux offerings on netbooks have largely disappeared, and the only offering is Windows.