Yahoo! Maps Upgrade

Breaking news: Yahoo! has upgraded its mapping service with a new, Flash-based beta version with substantial interface improvements. In the 15 seconds or so I’ve had to play with it, it works very well — the inset for zooming is a nice UI touch.

Here’s Yahoo!’s feature list. Associated Press coverage (via GeoCarta); All Points Blog goes over the features.

The Yahoo! Maps API now includes Flash and AJAX versions. Over on Geobloggers, Rev Dan Catt takes a detailed look at the changes to the API and the Flash API in particular.

Update, 8:48 AM: Cartography: “In short, it looks like Yahoo! Maps is trying to look like Google Maps — perhaps a bit too much.”

Update, 8:52 AM: TechCrunch looks at Yahoo!’s use of Flash. Another introduction in the Yahoo! Search Blog.

Update, 10:15 AM: O’Reilly Radar’s take is positive. Key points: “You can do more with the Yahoo! APIs than you can with Google’s. … I didn’t think their first maps API was anything to write home about, but they haven’t just played catch-up to Google with their second maps API. They’ve overtaken Google in functionality and in elegance” (his emphasis).