Saturday, June 24, 2006

WLLPBVEB Traffic Feature Rules!

I know it's hardly breaking news (the feature launched a few weeks ago), but I've gotta say, I love the traffic feature of Windows Live Local powered by Virtual Earth Beta.

For example, check out my morning commute - complete with driving directions and traffic overlayed.

I still find the WLLPBVEB interface to be quite a bit clunkier and slower than Google Maps, but the traffic feature trumps usability - most of the time (admittedly, sometimes I get frustrated with WLLPBVEB and fall back to the clean, simple Google Maps). The Beta of Yahoo Maps has traffic too, but their interface still has quite a ways to go.

I'm also surprised that neither WLLPBVEB nor Google Maps allow you to modify the route. Mapquest lets you choose a route that avoids highways - but how could would it be to let me click on the portion of the route that goes over one bridge, then drag and drop it onto another bridge, and have the rest of the route update. That's my cool random feature request of the day. :-)


Anonymous said...

The traffic feature rocks but it stills has a few kinks that need to be worked out. For example, your route right now on Sunday morning shows red on I-5 North with an incident report icon right over Denny & I-5. The report reads:

Major Construction : I-405 northbound at 124th St. all lanes are expected to be blocked ...

The icon is at the wrong place. Sure, the problem is probably the data and not the engine. Still, the e2e scenario is broken since the results are not trustworthy.

adamjh said...

I'm sure you're right - and I hope the kinks will be worked out over time.

In this specific case, the red on I-5 North wasn't related to the incident icon. The path color represents actual current conditions, unrelated to any incidents.

The incident icon was actually listed as a Seattle market wide alert. In fact, this morning, while driving up I-5, one of the freeway signs was displaying the same alert.

Additionally, if you select the "show construction" icon, you'll see another incident icon showing the exact location along I-405.

All that said, the Live Local team is looking into better ways to display market-wide alerts. We'll see what they come up with. :-)