Yahoo Maps packs in features without looking cluttered. You can create a map or a route, view satellite images, and find local businesses. We're impressed with this service, though it's still in public beta testing (you can access Yahoo's old map site here, but why?). By comparison, Google Maps, now a final product, suddenly looks so 2005 and vulnerable.
It's easy within Yahoo Maps to chart a route with multiple destinations, find local attractions, discover traffic trouble spots, and drag new addresses into your search. Yahoo Maps beta uses a simple two-window layout similar to that of Google Maps, with search options and driving directions in the left pane and a map on the right. To display a map, type an address into text box A, then add point B to the second text box if you need driving directions. Additional text boxes appear as needed to easily create multipoint directions. You can also click any step in a set of directions to view a small inset map of just that step.
The Yahoo Maps beta is coded in Flash, so it takes a moment to load, and actions such as zooming in suffer a slight lag. The delay didn't bother us, even though Google Maps is faster. You can display a map as a standard line drawing, a satellite image, or a hybrid of the two and view or hide a tiny map-within-the-map. Icons above the map let you print it, e-mail it, send it to a cell phone, or show live traffic conditions.
While Yahoo's satellite views don't zoom in as closely as those on Google Maps or the Windows Live Local beta, there are no blank spots, so you can find any location in the world. Also, Yahoo beautifully smoothes its map images from different satellites better than Google does.