Friday, August 12, 2011

Map Usability Fail Series: #1 Zoom to Rectangle

My biggest gripe about Google Maps is not having the ability to “Zoom to Rectangle”. You as the end user have to double click on the map 5 times before you are at a zoom level and area that is of interest. This is akin to taking the bus with 5 stops versus taking your car with one stop. The map savvy user is just not going to have the patients and get very annoyed with the lack of this feature.

Tip: Keep in mind the goal of your web map and add just the tools that give your end users the answer quickly and with little work.

Map Usability Fail Series: #2 Widget Hoarding
Map Usability Fail Series: #3 Creating Custom Map Controls


  1. This is on of the primary reasons I turn to Bing Maps over Google Maps when in I'm in a map exploration mood. They have it now as a user profile specific add-on, but I'm not a fan of being logged in at all times.

  2. Thanks for the post Russ. I was unaware that Google even had this functionality. It sure has been a pain point with me. I also agree about being logged in all the time. Who knows what is being tracked.

  3. Google quietly added the zoom to rectangle functionality a while ago - if you look under the zoom slider, you should see a small magnifying glass icon containing a bounding box. :-)

  4. Actually - a slight modification - you need to enable it in Google Maps Labs first - click on the Maps Labs link in the left hand pane of Google Maps, enable Drag 'n' Zoom, and click Save Changes.