Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Are GIS Services That Hard?

Ok, I give up: when I want Google Maps to help me find an orthopedist near my house, why doesn't it sort by distance?? Even more maddening is that it shows a scatter of overlapping dots representing practitioners that otherwise don't make the search results list. Yet, when I go to zoom in to be able to individually look at those results, the action of zooming in makes them disappear. Fuck you Google: your map search service is useless to me.

Now, the funny (not actually, but we'll use that word) thing is, the alternatives don't seem to be any better.

Bing Maps doesn't even seem to let me put in my own map search terms. I have to select from a list of searches. While "healthcare" is a search option, I can't specify "orthopedist" (which, since my knee is what's fucked up is what I'm looking for. Thanks for nothing, Microsoft. You definitely did not earn a convert, today.

WebMD's physician search ain't much better. See, I'd like to be able to do a proximity search based on my house or office address. Instead, the finest granularity I can find is "within 'X' miles of zipcode". Zipcode-level granularity??? Thanks. That's really not at all helpful.

The only thing in Google's favor, at this point, is that the alternatives suck at least as badly as Google does.

All I want is someone, preferably nearby, to look at my damned knee. I'd found an online tool that told me what the likely problem is. If it's correct, there's really not much to be done about it. But, I don't want to just "let things go" if there is something that can be done.


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