Maps on Bing and Google

Map from Google shows boundaries and address

"Helpful" map from Bing, shows street and footpath only

This issue of Christian Computing magazine had an article which extolled the virtues of Bing Maps:

While Google Maps is very popular, I found Bing Maps (Fig. 2, http://www.bing.com/maps/) a better alternative. The first test I performed, for example, proved significant.

I’m afraid my experience was also significant, Bing maps of New Zealand loaded slower, and held less information than Google maps. (I was interested in the location of different properties around Tauranga, Google usually provided boundaries of each property, Bing – when it finally loaded – did not, Google provided satellite imagery, Bing claimed to, but it just never loaded :(

What’s your experience?

Satellite image from Google

Bing's attempt after 3 minutes loading, yes, I also tried 3 times over a half hour :(

Online syncing data: just brilliant

I’m an enthusiast, when I like something I usually really like it. However, it’s not often that I let myself rave about software or services as usually they come with downsides you have to balance against the advantages. DropBox though is just brilliant :)

The concept is simple a service that (in the background) syncs a folder on your PC with their server online, so far so humdrum (yawn, another backup service, it’s nice it runs quietly in the background, clever that it only uploads the changed data, nice that it keeps old versions for a month, but basically boring) the extra bit (though I admit till six months ago I’d have found that first bit just brilliant) is that it syncs other computers as soon as you install Dropbox on them. So now as well as my working files being up to date backed up safely, they are available painlessly, and without me needing to remember to do anything, on my netbook as well as on my laptop :)

And, thanks to a couple of you who signed up for the free 2GB service I (and you :) got an extra 1500MB free.

So, I have been happily using my Teaching 2010 and my Writing 2010 folders on both machines in various places without having to worry about copying files or syncing the machines, or deleting things by mistake. And then I had my brainwave, I’ve moved my Thunderbird Portable folder also into MyDropBox and now my email too is synced and safe.

Seriously, this is a service (and software) I am evangelical about. Those of you who have not signed up should :) If you want to use someone else’s link so they get the 250MB that’s fine by me, I’m not greedy, but I can’t bear any more seeing or hearing about people who are carrying files round on memory sticks between machines, or using portable hard drives to do the job, when there is a better alternative that just works :) and is FREE at least up to 2GB which is quite a few files ;)

(By the way I saw that a couple of you signed up but never used it, I wonder why? But thank you anyway, because you earned me extra space :)