Online Map Readability: A Comparison

Justin O’Beirne presents an extremely thorough and interesting analysis of why Google Maps appear more readable than its competitors. I’ve noticed this as well. It’s one of the major reasons I still prefer Google Maps despite some very compelling features of Bing and Yahoo maps.

One visual trick that Google applies to maps is a localized de-cluttering around major cities.

This is made much more obvious when we view city labels by themselves: