Useamap.com, can be useful indeed

March 6th, 2007 at 12:00 am
 


Useamap.com is an interesting web app mashup. With the aid of Google Maps, it provides a map that uses a short URL, the purpose of which is to make the link easier to remember thus making it easier to share with others. Through a series of simple steps, you can create your own map, name it, create a tag for it, attach text with it and send it to friends or guests to events like parties and other similar celebrations.

The web app is free. Registration is not required but you do need to have an email account and enter a password whenever you save a map. This is for verification purposes in case you want to edit or change any entries in your map. Another good feature of the map is a direction tool. Every time you click on a location on your map, a small pop-up window will appear asking you if you want to have directions ″to” or ″from” that certain location. The directions can be saved or printed as a hard copy. I tried testing this feature and it seems to be working but in some areas of the map only. In some areas, an error occurs when you try plotting the directions, something to do with not having the correct data set for creating that specific route.

Maps can be embedded or posted on any websites, can be emailed, and you can leave comments on a map. The website can be a very handy tool especially for pointing or plotting out directions. And because of the short URL concept, the web page address can be relayed through word of mouth.

It would be nice if the map mashup can offer a search box which can bring users to specific locations fast. Aside from location names, possible search parameters include coordinates, zip codes, street codes, areas, and even known landmarks. However, this requires serious programming and the idea itself already falls far from the very simple purpose of the site: to provide short URLs. The site was able to achieve its objective, although personally I still would love the search feature and also a more interestingly designed front page will not be that bad.