Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Mapquest Confused and Google Maps "Gee Whiz" Feature

The job hunt has had me using Google Maps or Mapquest more than usual to get driving directions and times to potential employers or interview.

Most of my use of these driving direction web sites is for the "terminal phase" of the trip. That is, I generally know how to get from my house to the town in question so I just use these tools to figure out the last few turns. In the past Mapquest has been pretty good (picking the major roads I would have), but lately I've noticed that it picked rather odd routes. In any case, this prompted me to begin using Google Maps.

I've used Google Maps in the past, but recently I noticed a new feature with the driving directions (I have no idea when this feature first appeared). If you hover your mouse over a portion of your route, you'll get a "drag to change route" box. Dragging the box easily lets you make small tweaks to your route (for example, around construction or a closed road). The drag behavior is fast -- a testimony to the efficiency of the underlying route-finding algorithm.

1 comment:

Roo said...

Yeah, this feature is pretty new and I like it a lot, it means you can put in diversions to the donut shop, or to avoid that horrible traffic jam. Google maps gets 2 thumbs up for this!