MapPoint and Windows Live Local got me lost

Oh I hate to say this but it’s true. When picking up my neice last weekend, her mother and I decided to meet halfway and find a Friendly’s which would be amenable to all the kids. So I used Windows Live Local to drill into the general area and then show me all the Friendly’s. There was one right in the town we were focused on. Perfect. Then I asked Windows Live Local to map it for me and give me directions. We followed the directions and ended up on the wrong side of town in a totally residential area. Rich and I drove back towards the comnercial area and just asked someone for directions. I had sent my niece the link to those same directions, so they got pretty lost as well but finally found their way.

I tried to have it locate a few other businesses that I saw when I went to the real Friendly’s, but WLL puts them all in that same person’s back yard.

For comparison, MapQuest couldn’t find the Friendly’s in West Lebanon, NH though it gives me about ten others in NH and VT. But when I typed in Friendlys (without the apostrophe), it got me there correctly.  Google got it right.

To be fair, I went back to WLL and just typed in Friendly, but again, landed in the person’s back yard.

I really like the interface of Windows Live Local. Truly I do. It’s very cool, how the directions pop up and you can actually go step by step on the map even. But this next step of mapping software – the sophistication of typing in a business name and expecting perfect directions (whether from Google, MapQuest or Microsoft) is just not quite there yet. I just don’t want to get lost.

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