I know everybody loves Google Maps, but Yahoo Local is such a better experience in so many ways. One of those ways was Yahoo’s inclusion of an address book — you could save any searched location for future use. I use it all the time: Saved in my Yahoo address book is the McGee family’s favorite hotel in Seattle, so if we’re visiting there and need directions to a friend’s house, a favorite restaurant, a ball game, or whatever — our starting point is already saved and ready to go. I did the same in San Jose earlier this month — saved the SES location and printed out directions to lots of other places. It’s so smart and so simple. Yahoo and MapQuest have it, but Google has completely dropped the ball.
Until now. Right up at the top of the page you’ll now find a new “Saved Locations” link.
Clicking the link takes you outside the map search interface to a form where you can type and save any address you want. The form also has a checkbox to control auto-saving of addresses. It’s turned on by default, so your address book will get hefty in a hurry if you use Google Maps a lot and leave that button checked. A better implementation would be like Yahoo’s, where each search includes an opportunity for the address to be saved.
Another reason I still prefer Yahoo’s implementation is that Yahoo’s address book functions from within the map search interface, not on a separate page like Google’s.
But all criticism aside, it’s good to see Google finally catching up and adding this long overdue, user-friendly tool to Google Maps.