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Find alternatives to Google Maps

Google's mapping system may be the most comprehensive, but some users find its layout or desktop versions irritating to use. For them there are several online alternatives to Google Maps that can provide an equally helpful way of getting around or locating that elusive address. The ideal choice will depend on your specific purpose.

Mapping the globe

The various alternatives to Google Maps might not have the range or depth of the world's largest internet search company's service, but they can offer effective rival options in specific areas. Like Google, most online map services are free to use.

For example, Waze is a clever combination of a street map service that incorporates some social networking attributes. Commuters can use the GPS navigation for work trips, but can also access updates on traffic conditions, local diversions, speed traps and roadworks. Depending on the number of users, it becomes a constantly updated guide to your road trip.

Yahoo! Maps, launched in 2007, is a like-for-like alternative to Google, offereing a similar service with street maps and business locations. It also offers updated traffic information for ease of route-planning.

Microsoft's Bing Maps covers around 70 cities worldwide, with details of local services and public transport. It offers 3D views of the city and a unique bird's-eye perspective.

Wikipedia's WikiMapia is compiled and edited by volunteers and offers a broad variety of maps ranging from geographical overviews to satellite images. Although probably not suitable for that weekend trip to the cinema, it can be an invaluable reference tool for writers and students.

Check for compatibility

Most alternatives to Google Maps offer versions for PC, tablet and mobile, although it's advisable to check that the version you choose is user-friendly before heading out on that road trip. Ideally you want to choose a map service that won't slow down your device with vast amounts of data.

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