Yahoo! Maps unveiled a host of new features today. Unlike the novel and graphically rich Microsoft Visual Earth 3-D announced last week, Yahoo!’s improvements are solely functional (although Visual Earth 3-D has a hefty balance of form and function, the latter of which will grow significantly over time as we pointed out in the recent Advisory “Microsoft’s Virtual Earth 3-D: A New Dimension for Local).”
Most of Yahoo!’s new features are Ajax-based functions such as dragging and dropping points on a map, and right clicking on any points to display driving directions between them. Users for the first time on Yahoo! Maps can also plot multiple points and get driving directions for a multi-legged trip. These are all useful tools, but it should be noted that many of them have already been introduced by Ask.com in the site’s relaunch back in February. There is also an intuitive integration of local search, and you can check out a flash based demonstration of all these new features here.