Last year, productivity blog Lifehacker declared that MSN Autos had the best gas price comparison.
So what makes MSN so great? First, they use the Oil Price Information system which contains more data in almost real time compared to volunteer “spotter” based sites like GasBuddy.com. Second the gas prices at MSN were listed in order from least to most expensive, were the most expansive (in personal tests), and included an interactive map, as well.
I just got my driver’s license and a car, so now I care about finding the cheapest gas in town. I haven’t seen any further comparisons or analysis, so I’ll let that stand.
Which brings me to Local Gas Prices, a gadget for your Google homepage that uses MSN Autos to find the cheapest gas in your area. Granted, I still have to plug the addresses into Google Maps, but at least I can get an at-a-glance idea at how many hours I need to work this week.
This is definitely not the most exciting thing to come my way this week. But I stuck around for a while because I love finding ways to use information that’s already online. Why should I have to build a whole new database when I can yank from someone else’s? (Let’s not get started on the legal aspects of this, that’s a whole different blog post.) I’d love to see a newspaper Web site build something like this (maybe even a Facebook app?) and do it well: on a map.