MapInfo miDirections.com Goes �Live�
by Adena Schutzberg, from GIS
Monitor, August 18, 2000
announced that miDirections.com, an online site for point-to-point driving
directions, was now 'live' at http://www.midirections.com
. The new
service offers driving directions as well as maps to any address within the
hopes this service will be popular with business users. And, though you
can visit and key in two addresses in the USA and get directions, the real
goal here is to provide applications to run �click and mortar�
an ASP model, MapInfo hopes to rent this functionality to companies that
need customers to �find the nearest� and then �find the way there.�
MapInfo and MapQuest.com claim, 90% of consumers visiting a retailers' Web
sites expect to find a store locator or map.
quick �test drive� turned up some glitches. A staff member in
a quick comparison between Mapquest, arguably the market leader, and miDirections
by requested directions between home and work. �Both services had
me driving continually on a road that is discontinuous,� he reported.
did better than miDirections since it took a more direct route. MiDirections
actually had me making an inexplicable circle before going in
the right direction.� I tracked my commute around Boston. MapInfo had my
home geocoded at the wrong end of my street. Then I was taken on a
including two state highways. I was also dismayed that the main roads of
travel were not marked on the map. MapQuest had my home correctly
provided a more direct route.
service provides access to GDT Dynamap 2000 transportation data, quarterly
data updates of customer sites, quarterly updates of routing network
and street display data, and bi-monthly updates of MapInfo MapMarker Plus
according to a brochure dated in March, looks like this:
(find the nearest)
12 month subscription including up to 300,000 map draws/year
for 100,000 additional draws; available in advance, or as needed
(point to point directions)
subscription to miSites
for a 12 month
including up to 100,000 routes
for 100,000 additional routes; available in advance, or as needed
and other providers make pricing information available on a case-by-case
and do not have a �price list.� The Mapquest rep did note their prices
range up to $300,000.
points out that most users purchase both the find the nearest part (MiSites)
and the directions (MiDirections) � totaling $10,000/year annual subscription.
This statement must be based on those who bought the service before
it was packaged as miSites and miDirections. It's interesting to note
that MapQuest, MapBlast, and others, while offering this type of
have a freebie way to put maps on your site and/or allow links to their
sites for directions. There are no such freebies from miDirections at
real question here is, can MapInfo provide a significantly different solution
than MapQuest and others? For now, they all tout the same benefits (no
updates for the user, supported 24/7 by the hosting company on their server,
seamless integration with the existing site, etc.) Data may make a
difference � seeing the Navigation Technology logo on my Mapquest map may
explain why my house was correctly located. MapQuest can boast a host of
big users (American Express, Kinko's, Yahoo, Sears) while MapInfo, as
does not do so. Further, MapInfo to date, only provides US service while
MapQuest supports areas outside the US, important for global companies.
add to the fray, there is another path to interactive maps such as
retailer can install and host an application on their own site. Out of
the box solutions for the US, such as RouteMapIMS from ESRI, start at $3,000.
It will be some time before we know which model, �renting from� an
ASP or self-hosting wins. And, as more players enter both markets, the winner
in each arena is yet to be determined.
a Map to a Web Page, by TenLinks.com