This from the "GUI gone weird" department.
is an interactive BBC map for the olympic venue which will
show up later this or early next month. The behavior upon
grabbing and moving the map with the mouse is particularly
interesting, and not exactly correct.
In Google Maps, the grab function is pretty much as one
might expect; one grabs, moves the mouse cursor, and the
map moves, keeping the point grabbed underneath the cursor,
as far as it can. Very reasonable behavior.
Not so in the above map; I'm not even sure I can
characterize it beyond the fact that the map jumps a
distance upward (the cursor effectively goes south without
The odd thing is that maps.live.com implements it properly,
with the additional capability that, if one positions the
cursor and uses the thumbwheel, the zoom in or out is around
the cursor. Turns out Google also has this capability, with
the addition of a red rectangle.
This even if I zoom in around Beijing, which one can find
Google appears to have the better pictures, though they tend
to be somewhat older; in Google maps the Bird's Nest (north
of the Beijing city center) is still under construction.
(For the most part Googleearth shows the same data as
Google Maps, as one might expect; one can zoom in a little
further without a "We're Sorry" tiling, but don't expect
to be able to see the figure of a Chinese figure skater
driving along in a white sportscar, ;-) as all they're
doing is zooming into interpolated pixel data.)
For its part Yahoo! maps are even older; the Bird's Nest
is not even visible, though the southern stadium complex
(the BBC identifies this as Olympic Sports Centre Stadium)
is readily found. Yahoo!'s zoom function is center only,
though they do provide a convenient little crosshair. Grab
in Yahoo! is about the same as Google or Live.
mapblast.com is now part of MSN. None of these maps has
working road data, despite the fact that just south of the
Bird's Nest is an 8-lane highway with frontage roads, and
a major divided roadway just southwest. Yahoo properly
identifies an arterial farther west but can't zoom in
roadwise; the other two show a yellow line that cuts
through various residential districts instead of actually
following the road proper.
In short, caveat driver.
It turns out an E-map of Beijing is available at
This is a simple, slightly buggy road map (the page wants
to scroll up and down in response to the thumbwheel,
as well as zooming the map in or out, and BOCOG doesn't
want to go away if activated -- but the grab works).
The road south of the Bird's Nest turns out to be "N. 4th
Ring Rd Middle", with the divided highway "Beichen Rd".
The major arterial appears to be "Badaling Expwy".
It also identifies Beijing Capital Internatioanl Airport,
northeast of the Olympic complex. The only other mapping
solution to correctly identify it is the BBC website,
though it's not difficult to find visually (it's almost 2
miles east-west, maybe 3 miles north-south; it's not hard
to find if one knows where to look, even on Microsoft
Live's relatively blurry images when zoomed out).
Interestingly, Yahoo!'s maps show a different terminal
configuration (an H shape with knobs, basically); clearly
Beijing's decided to do major construction around its
airport. The official website, strangely enough, shows
the exact same terminal configuration.
Google and Live show a curved double-triangle, separated
into 3 buildings (presumably with a pair of taxiways
between each). Apparently this is a new terminal, as
Google and Live also have the "H" just west. The official
map does not show this new terminal at all.
Even funnier, if one zooms out from the new terminal
in Microsoft Live or Google, it vanishes. Somebody
needs to update their satellite data. Yahoo! doesn't
show the new terminal even when zoomed in, so they're
sort of OK. Interestingly, the satellite data is in
three different colors.
Would it be too much to ask for all of these maps to
do at least a minimal amount of coordination before the
#191, firstname.lastname@example.org -- insert random confused driver here
Windows. Because it's not a question of if.
It's a question of when.
** Posted from http://www.teranews.com **