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Map Servers

http://www.berklix.org/maps
http://www.berklix.com/~jhs/txt/maps/

by Julian Stacey

Index Notes
  • Country the service is in may affect:
    • Their default user language, though they may offer others.
    • Quality of map. The detail they can offer on other countries (usually less).
    • Their legal attitude to link-able URLS, copyright etc.
    • Their data harvesting from your web accesses.
  • Maps to Julian

Map Providers

COUNTRY MAP PROVIDER COMMENT
Munich, Germany www.mvv-muenchen.de
Public Transport
History:http://www.muenchnerubahn.de
 
Germany mapquest.de.  
Germany stadtplandienst.de Commercial company. Some nice features, ie red circle, But various annoying features too:
  • Graphic symbols blot out street names, making maps Less useful for city residents seeking detail, & more useful for tourists.
  • [Used to be]Short expiring (2 days) URLs, as they now invite you to copy to web site I guess they last longer, & might then eventually expire into a redirector catch page ?
  • Restrictive legal conditions re. links (that too might have changed, or not, Caveat emptor);
  • Their free link setter doesn't work if a browser doesn't support Java script (eg Dello & others);
  • If you are brave/ foolish enough to enable scripts, at 2010_08_13 Konqueror browser locked up the entire X-Windows graphics session reporting a script was consuming resources, (offering to abort it, but failing to) (the underlying FreeBSD/Unix outside of X-Windows was still healthy, so a kill of Konqueror process resumed X to normal).
  • Further crippled, cos now if you print the page, you get all their adverts, but no map. (Unix X-Windows people might try xwd, if/ where legal, I don't know).
  • Good detail in maps, though people perhaps won't report odd errors they see, as so awkward.
Europe maps.nokia.com
World openstreetmap.org Free & Public & Editable Under ground rail (U.Bahn) station names in blue, routes in dotted black. Tram (strassen-bahn) tracks in solid black. Format: SVG Scalable Vector Graphics. It needs javascript enabled, & tells you if not enabled.
World   maps.google.com Free service for now, but a commercial company, what if one day they might abuse a monopoly ?

Needs javascript enabled, if not, doesnt tell you, just leaves you in search engine.

maps.yahoo.com/
Germany stadtplan.net
(Not linked as penalty for requiring Flash.)
Needs Flash - OK for clueless Microsoft users, but a problem for some Free Software users who want to escape the Redmond monopolist convicted by the EU ! (until if ever Macromedia issues source or licences to all op systems).
Germany hot-maps.de
(Not linked as penalty for requiring Flash.)
"Fast, has a street finder"

Seems to be 100% flash, which makes it pretty much useless for non-WinDoze users
Germany naviki.org/en for planning walks:
Britain streetmap.co.uk OK, decent map. Can hang w. mozilla
World Wide inc. Britain maporama.com Allows detailed URLS for later London Example Haven't tested to see how long such URLS last.
Britain & Austria etc multimap.com OK, Shows a numeric street address in Vienna. Not as good as stadtplandienst.de for numeric street address in Munich
Britain, London, Tube Tube by BBC OK
Britain, London askmaps.com Old map to print, bordered by tons of Ads
Britain, London hotels-london.co.uk Hotels
Britain, London londonpass.com Small maps NOT general map server, just tourist text.
Britain, London, 1859 ph.ucla.edu 150 Years Old
Britain, London proviser.com House Prices
Britain, London ukguide.org No detailed map, more useful to tourists deciding where to visit.
Britain, London viewlondon.co.uk OK
America mapquest.com "Driving Directions" + a 2010 promo for OpenStreetMap Rec. < Gary J.
America mappoint.msn.com
Not reccomended
You can link URL without problems: Example Listed last as the owner is monopolist Microsoft, fined in top European court 2004 for monopoly offences I believe, & fine upheld on appeal . Do your bit to break their attempts to increase their monopoly. Don't buy from them. Use free software instead.

Smart Phone Map Apps - Android

In alphabetic order - Till I think of a more meaningful order.
Info. I've been told; Not tried myself yet.

Route Planning Providers

MAP PROVIDER COMMENT
viamichelin.com & .co.uk & .de Car route planner.
http://www.rac.co.uk Uses Bing. Car route planner.
multimap.co.uk Includes carbon footprint etc

Privacy & Security Versus Convenience

This below is new, speculative, incomplete etc. Some ideas may not be quite right, some ideas not explored sufficiently yet. Corrections Welcome.

When you use a map service, or any internet service, or just read a plain page such as this, you might get more than just adverts: you potentially expose yourself & your data. Accessing any web page, even without Java, cookies, or any other tricks, tells a web page owner your are active, & so if they're feeling intrusive, malicious, inquisitive, they could run a `security scan' on you, without you knowing it, if only to see how well your firewall stops them. Yes, I could have done that too. No, _I_ didn't, but some people & companies could. Not all humans are nice.

What could "They" do with data they harvest from us ?

If you think "They" can't get anything from you, think further.
  • If you're using Microsoft's OS & Browser
    You're presumably at greater risk when you visit Microsoft controlled sites: They don't publish their source code for public scrutiny, so independent experts can't check what the interaction is, what information may flow.
    • Article "Windows 98 Knows Who You Are By David Methvin, Richard Smith September 6, 1999" published by Byte magazine ( Truncated version here , full version here )
    • Richard Smith, President of Phar Lap Software found interesting info hidden in Microsoft format docs. (I recall the complete edit record - so recipients could find previous different prices in earlier draft commercial offers etc! ) A web search shows other secrets too. Why trust a monopolist ? ( I heard Microsoft fixed their Word after being exposed, I don't know, I don't use their viral (*) products or formats ("viral"*: ie susceptible to viruses, & also as a proprietary monopolist format: a viral attack in the wider sense of the word, to try to marginalise non MS users & discourage use of free software. ).
  • Remember if you'r on a LAN, or using DSL with an ethernet card, the ethernet has a unique MAC address, which was also perhaps on the outside of the box, when the bar code reader swiped it for `stock control purposes' while you paid by credit card - with address implicit. - Who knows how far That info gets aggregated across multiple sales over time, to analyse purchase trends etc, & who might purchase such info, or companies having the info.
  • Remember the identification naming info XP requires you type in when you install it ? & Your licence ID number ?
  • Consider the environment & language preferences etc information your browser gives any web server.
  • All net computer have an IP number, that can usually be reversed to a network domain name. The IP number can also be checked against IP number maps for probable provider name.
  • Traceroute can be used to see physically where you're routing through.
  • Long URLs can contain disguised & compressed street names, useful for tracking repeat requests from different clients. Map providers could take your initial address, then focus on your repeated zoom clicks plus those of others, (on a statistically averaged basis to avoid jitter), then use that to confirm & enhance their street name database. "Fine, produces better maps." you may think. I agree. A shame though if something like that gave a Monopolist any further advantage to leverage their monopoly though.

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