Yahoo released (YHOO) an update to Yahoo Maps with more data at the neighborhood level. The Yahoo Maps team added 12,000 new neighborhoods in 300 cities. The maps now denote neighborhood boundaries with subtle changes in the background color. And points of interest such as schools and subway stops are marked.
Yahoo Maps has always had a different look than Google (GOOG) Maps, but these changes help define that difference even more. The background colors are lighter and there is an attempt to provide a lot of information visually. I like being able to see the neighborhood boundaries, but there is a risk of being presented with too much information. The best UI for maps is to keep it simple and then offer different layers of information that can be turned on or off depending on what you are looking for. That said, too much information is better than too little. I’ve become completely addicted to online maps, even in my car.
What can Yahoo (or Google) do next to make their maps even more indispensable?