New research reveals that 36 percent of us are not able to read a map properly and have even come close to missing out on a hot date or big meeting as a result. Worst still a further 7 percent don't turn up at all, suggesting we really aren't as expert as we'd like to think when it comes to map reading.

On the back of this data, Ask Jeeves has launched a Maps and Directions service in the UK. Users can click on the “maps” link on the Ask Jeeves home page, type a street name and postcode into the search field, and get a birds-eye view of the area, then zoom in or out to get your preferred scale. Users will also be able to get directions for driving or walking.

Not surprisingly, the survey also showed that almost a third of the UK population refuses to ask for help when their own map reading skills land them in hot water.