The product managers for Live Maps in the UK have taken a slightly more proactive approach than last time to let you and I know that they will be changing the way that you get to Live Maps or Multimap. Here are the golden rules you need to remember:
If you visit the URL http://maps.live.com you will get to Live Maps UK.
If you go to maps via http://www.live.com then you will get to Multimap.
If you go to maps via http://www.msn.co.uk then you will get to Multimap.
The changes will come into affect on the 9th May.
The idea is to have the minimum impact to business and developers who have used the Live Maps platform in their own applications, whilst allowing Multimap (which according to Autoexpress is the #1 site for directions) to receive traffic from our other web properties.
Here's the official statement:
We recently announced the integration of Multimap into Live Search in the UK and will start to route users directly to the Multimap service from MSN UK and Live.com from 9th May.
This release is part of our longer term consumer strategy to have one mapping and local search site in the UK, integrating the best of both Multimap and Virtual Earth (Live Search Maps) technologies. The management and development teams of Microsoft and Multimap are working collaboratively, with a common vision bringing localised products to market faster. Given that Multimap resonates successfully with UK consumers serving over 45% of the UK mapping audience, building on this brand is the right strategic direction.
We recognise, however, that we must continue to offer users a choice of services while we complete the integration of all Virtual Earth features into the Multimap site. We are therefore maintaining the Live Search Maps UK site and users can still access this at http://maps.live.com to use favourite features such as Windows Live Collections and 3D maps. Powerful VE Aerial and Bird’s Eye imagery has been integrated into the Multimap site to give consumers the broadest array of map styles on the market today.
Additionally, we are going to provide prominent signposting to Live Search Maps UK from the Multimap site for those who are redirected there. All Live Search and MSN UK mapping traffic through ‘Maps’ links will be redirected to www.multimap.com but any shared Collections links will not.
Developers and businesses that have invested in the Virtual Earth technology are unaffected by the redirection of our Live Search Maps and MSN mapping traffic to Multimap. We will continue to support both technology platforms and expect to offer an expanded set of opportunities and features over time.
We thank our users for the feedback and passion they have shared so far as we continue to evolve our local and mapping sites in the UK. We encourage you to try out these sites for yourselves.
Does this work for you? What do you think?