Goodbye Google Maps – Hello Bing Maps

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Well my long suffering, oops I mean faithful, readers here is another moan about www.google.com and unbelievably some praise for www.bing.com well the maps department anyway.

At the weekend friends of mine told me to go and have a look on www.rightmove.co.uk at a house that they were thinking of buying!

By the way www.rightmove.co.uk is a great little English website, it is small, only run by a couple of people trying to do a good job, where you can find property to buy and rent which if you are actually looking for property to buy or rent is, you have to admit, pretty handy isn’t it?

Sadly www.google.com that ever annoying and bulging behemoth is trying to send little companies like www.rightmove.co.uk out of business by offering free listings of properties so that they can get even more advertising revenue buy stealing it away from family style companies like www.rightmove.co.uk or at least that was what I was reading on www.bbc.com the other day.

Well I have deviated from my point but that means I have a lot to say and am not a ‘deviant’ honestly.

So my friends said have a look at a house called “Knapp Farmhouse” which they said was in the odd and I think rather distinctive sounding village of “Puncknowle” in the delightfully charming English county of Dorset.

Being inquisitive (it is such a nicer word than ‘nosey’ isn’t it?) I decided to not only have a look at the pretty pictures of the property that my friends were thinking of buying and closely study the property particulars, I decided to find out exactly where the oddly and distinctively named village of “Puncknowle” was and how close it might be to the sea and the lovely fresh fish especially Prawns that people pull out of that bit of the English Channel, just in case I get invited to stay and on the off chance get offered fish.

Now we all know because we have been told by www.google.com that their map search thingy is second to none and with street view it is even better because you can get to see into peoples houses – sounded good to me and so I copied and pasted the address of the house my friends were thinking of buying into Google maps, and here I have to say that www.rightmove.co.uk are sticklers for accuracy because they give to entire address of the property that they are marketing even down to the post code (or zip code as my lovely American readers would know it better).

Then I waited for the magic to happen!

Imagine my surprise when this good looking Cat got not only a picture of the house my friends are thinking of buying but also an advert which said that the property was a sort of guest house that we only have in the UK I believe and call a “bed and breakfast,” these places are sort of like motels but with limited parking, but are fun to visit because the people who run them are usually mad and do odd things like pre-Basil Fawlty’s and on a smaller scale.

Knapp Farmhouse according to this advert (and the brochure that popped up when I clicked on a link) was indeed a bed and breakfast and strangely enough it was a completely different building to the one on www.rightmove.co.uk.

I was astonished that my friends were obviously considering ‘trade,’ were they that far down on their luck poor things? And my shock and horror grew as I noticed that the address of the property on Google maps was completely different to the address I had been given by them and also the nice website www.rightmove.co.uk.

My suspicions began to grow, were my friends trying to tell me something? Because with the help of Google maps had I discovered that they were about to move and didn’t want to give me the address of their new home and were thinking of disappearing forever – bastards!

Happily I am not the sort of clever feline that jumps too far to any conclusion and so I first checked to see if maybe some clumsy stroke of a furry paw had pasted in the wrong address – but no it wasn’t that.

Then I checked to see if the address my friends had given me was the same as the one on www.rightmove.co.uk – no that wasn’t the reason for having a different address and indeed picture on Google maps.

I called my friends and checked the address with them “yes” they said “that’s the right address, what did I think of the farmhouse and also the guest accommodation?” (A converted barn big enough for about twenty Cats).

“Very nice I said!” And put the phone down in confusion, it was obvious that they weren’t trying to get rid of me as a friend, they had asked me about the guest accommodation hadn’t they?”

So that meant that there had to be some other reason for the glaring discrepancy between the pictures of the house on www.rightmove.co.uk and bed and breakfast brochure on Google maps! They were so different and so it led me to think that they must be two different properties, but the smarties at www.google.com couldn’t be wrong could they? They are bright, they are clever, they are at long last moaning to China about their really dreadful freedom of speech issues, they are the next best thing to god aren’t they?

They have most of the same letters in there name as ‘him’ after all and they seem to control and manage everything and if they don’t like you or what you say they aren’t above a bit of censorship of their own are they?

So what to do, this little problem was gnawing at me, was there a way of checking whether www.rightmove.co.uk had made a mistake – yes there was they have an aerial picture of the property which probably most people would look at first and so now I checked that and it was different too www.google.com, then I thought maybe I should see what another aerial picture would look like and so I went to www.bing.com.

www.bing.com have a map and an aerial picture thingy, the map is actually much better than www.google.com and has a lot of map type information and not a lot of ads and guess what you can make the map full size so that you can see more of the map unlike Google maps which has more space for ads that are on the left hand side of the screen and can’t be made smaller to show more, well any of the map.

The aerial picture is not as good on www.bing.com but who cares about that? When I searched www.bing.com with the same address (glad that I had copied it and could paste it in so many times www.bing.com found the right property which agreed with the address that my friends had given me and also the pictures on www.rightmove.co.uk, bit of course not with Google maps.

So I think that unbelievably, because I am not a great fan of Microsoft at all, www.bing.com has won a little more of my heart, it isn’t as inaccurate as www.google.com, it is less committed to plastering ads all over your screen when you are snooping on your friends new home in the map section and you can even ‘see’ what you are looking for full screen after you have found it and not a collection of adverts unlike Google maps and soon it will be the search engine of choice on the iphone.

Now of course the reason Apple Computers are changing their search engine on the iphone according to the www.bbc.com is that Apple Computers are annoyed that the iphone has some competition in the shape of the Google Android (‘phone’ as it has been described) – some competition har ha – and they are annoyed that they might only sell one billion and one iphones instead of one billion and ten iphones next year or something petulant like that.

So I have decided that for the time being that like Apple Computers I too like www.bing.com and I seriously suggest that you have a gawp at it too!

Currently one of their screen pictures is of a Cat as well, a rather fine Cat as well let’s hope that the rather fine Mountain Lion is pouncing on the idiot who works at Google maps and was responsible for England and in particular Dorset, let’s face it Google maps should get rid of that idiot as fast as possible it is giving them a bad name.

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