Expat Tech: Google Maps Argentina – Phase I

As we previously reported, Google Maps for Argentina launched yesterday.  After some initial testing, we found that the site works pretty for mapping address, but it is still missing some useful features and still has some quirks to be worked out:

  • Driving directions from point A to point B are unavailable (Google says it needs a couple of months)
  • No street level views (no word on when these are coming)
  • Satellite view does not let you zoom in as closely as in other major cities
  • The business search only returns limited results. For example, searching for “pizza nyc” returns almost 64,000 results on the NYC map. Search for “pizza buenos aires” returns 173 matches.  While it may not match NYC, there’s a lot more than 173 pizza places here.
  • In Buenos Aires, we type the street number after the street name, for example: Soler 5608 rather than 5608 Soler.  Well, Google seems to like reversing this and putting the number first.
  • There’s no traffic updates (don’t expect this soon)
  • The subway stops are not marked

Overall, it’s a good first effort, but it’s going to be sometime before I drop my use of the Mapa de Buenos Aires site with it’s driving as well as walking directions.

One nice thing for us bloggers is that it’s now very easy to include a map of places that we’re talking about in our WordPress blogs using the Geopress Plugin. Once the plugin is installed, it’s easy to include a Google map for any of the places that we refer to – like this one for the location of my favorite restaurant, Osaka. (only viewable on the full post page, not the index)

Tech Note: If you’re installing this plugin, you may need to edit the mapstraction.js file included with the GeoPress plugin to avoid errors in your WordPress admin.  To do this, make the following changes:

Line 27, change:
function $() { 
function $m() {

Line 111, change:
   this.mapElement = $(element);
   this.mapElement = $m(element);

Line 1329, change:
         var el = $(this.pinID + “_” + this.map.GUID).onmouseover;
         var el = $m(this.pinID + “_” + this.map.GUID).onmouseover;