The standard Mercator map that Americans are most familiar with is useful in many ways, but it distorts the size of many areas. The True Size Map lets you drag areas on top of other areas to compare their sizes, says Jason Kottke at kottke.org.
Lifehacker reviewer Thorin Klosowski tests Google Maps and Waze and determines they’re both great for different uses. Waze is good for getting from point A to Point B – it’s particularly good for shaving a few minutes off a commute, or a good chunk of time off a multi-hour drive. Maps is good for finding destinations along your route, and offers a variety of transportation options.
That basically confirms my own impressions, obtained by talking to people, using Google Maps, but not trying Waze.
I don’t commute to work; I work from a home office. Which means I’m not taking the same route every day in varying traffic conditions. Nor do I regularly take multi-hour drives. Those are the two best use cases for Waze.
What I do use Maps for are occasional trips where I need a refresher how to get where I’m going. I also use Maps while driving around on business trips in rental cars – different routes every time. I use Maps for walking directions in urban downtowns. And of course I use Maps to get to places where I’ve never been before. Google Maps is good for all those use cases.
I sometimes use Apple Maps. Directions have gotten good, not like the first days when Apple Maps was justifiably a joke. I like the user interface and integration with iOS and Mac OS X better than Google Maps. But Google Maps still gives better directions, which is the most important thing of course.
The most popular language in California (other than English and Spanish) is Tagalog.
I was surprised to learn that there are some continental states where the most popular language other than English is not Spanish.