back to article Google embarasses MapQuest

You’ll never use MapQuest again. With a new addition to its Google Maps service, Google has completely reinvented the notion of online driving directions, letting you adjust routes with a simple drag and drop. In the past, when you asked services like MapQuest or Google Maps for driving directions, you took what they gave you …

COMMENTS

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  1. Andrew Badera

    Hot

    F-g hot. Period. As someone who's moved fairly frequently, I've wanted something like this for years.

  2. Alex Waddell

    Google maps drag & drop rerouting

    Happened to use this today by accident, absolutely fantastic and incredibly fast to boot! Totally blows ALL other online mapping systems out of the water (not just mapquest)

  3. Matthew

    As if it is really that hard

    Adding waypoints to a direction finder? Wow...that sounds soo difficult...Hmmm

    Start Address A to Middle Site B

    Middle Site B to Middle Site C

    Middle Site C to Middle Site D

    Middle Site D to End Address E

    Ok, it is a few more graph searches, but woopie...

    Waypoints.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's a catflap Matthew

    "I would have thought it was quite obvious. Anyone could have thought of it."

    "Ah," said Dirk, "it is a rare mind indeed that can render the hitherto non-existent blindingly obvious. The cry `I could have thought of that' is a very popular and misleading one, for the fact is that they didn't, and a very significant and

    revealing fact it is too."

  5. Gregg Bond

    What they need is

    to keep a log of all these route changes, and use as they call it in London Cabbie circles (no pun, honest!), The Knowledge.

    Fastest

    Shortest

    Local

  6. Blain Hamon

    A godsend

    (If only my phone had proper ajax support)

    The problem with using waypoints, beyond the extra time of picking them, is that sometimes the mapper has an absolute obsession with a some routes. For example, if I want to travel along, but not on a freeway that I know is going to be congested, adding waypoints besides the freeway will do no good, because it'll insist that you go from point a, hop onto the freeway, hop off for point b, visit point b, and hop back on for point c.

    Sure, I could add more waypoints, but in order to do that, I need to know what, exactly those waypoints are, in terms of an address. And if I know enough to spoon-feed the mapper, well, I wouldn't have needed it in the first place!

  7. peter

    Harder way

    I used to search for a common business where I wanted to divert to and then add that as a point in the route. Also tried dragging those points to minimise the diversion like many have probably done.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: Matthew

    I hate to be the anonymous spectator who shows up late to the fight but that kind of ownage deserves to be cheered for.

    Nice use of Douglas Adams there, Anonymous.

  9. Sean Aaron

    How about OS?

    Meanining Ordinance Survey. The only reason I would use an online map service is to find the destination address. The route planners invariably give some really fucked up instructions from your front door to the motorway -- I live here I know that already! Invariably what follows is some kind of shortest, but not fastest route and even if you choose fastest you get questionable information which isn't apparent until you get to that point on the road and don't know what to do.

    I know how to read a map, cheers, I'd prefer not to piss about with some online direction-finder and zooming in and out to see detail to try to figure out what I'm doing. If didn't need a page load for every resolution change or direction shift it might be bearable, but as these things are now, old-fashioned is far less frustrating.

  10. ed

    junction numbers

    Google maps is truly excellent and i know i shouldn't look a gift horse n' all that but in the UK it really really really need to have motorway junction numbers. How can such intelligent people overlook this tiny amendment

  11. Stephen Tordoff

    Re: Junction Numbers

    Already there, eg Junction 31 of the M1

    http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=s26+2fu&ie=UTF8&ll=53.364869,-1.278534&spn=0.012522,0.040169&z=15&om=1

  12. Franklin

    Several years ago

    . . . I suggested they include VIA (loc1, loc2, . . .). Upon further pondering, they need to include a WITHOUT command as well:

    FROM Hoboken, NJ TO Petaluna, CA VIA Calgary, AB WITHOUT I-80

    or something.

    Anyway, us cyclists might enjoy excluding interstate expressways.

  13. Brett Leach

    Whereis once sent us on one hell of a Cook's tour.

    Unpaved roads, and a gated ford made by pouring head sized boulders into the creek and "stabilising" them with concrete. And direction changes you wouldn't believe.

    Four or five turns in about a kilometer, and looking at the map reveals that it could have been achieved with only 2 turns and a tiny amount of extra distance.

    I can't recall who said it, but i recall something along the lines of: "Computers are not smart. They just excel at being dumb very, very quickly."

  14. Ralph B

    Clever ... but still lousy

    1) Our street was built 10 years ago, but google maps doesn't have it yet.

    2) Try getting directions to anywhere east of Italy/Austria and you're plum out of luck.

    Maporama, whilst sucky in other ways, wins on both these points.

  15. SImon Hobson Silver badge

    Am I the only one ....

    .... that read this as a suggestion that people might actually try re-routing whilst driving ? That's really going to help congestion if people start crashing while trying to re-route on a tiny screen map !

  16. Ed

    Well...

    I think this is a great feature - something TomTom needs to pick up upon. I find I have to coax TomTom a bit, feeding it one place at a time, to stop it doing the odd really stupid thing... Of course you can make an "itinerary" first, but that's about 200 taps on the screen!

    Ralph B: I'd suggest you contact Google's mapping provider. Look at the copyright notice while looking at their page, then visit their site. The mapping providers have error correction systems where you can see the latest maps they have and see if its really just Google that is out of date. I imagine you know where you live anyway, so I doubt you really need your street mapped!

    Try getting maps of central Africa - that's pretty hard too!

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    african maps

    I have a pretty good map of the Sahara. I bought a pack of ten from Wickes a couple of months back.

    I'll get me coat.

  18. Karl Lattimer

    waypoints work fine,

    just set your start and end points on the map, then drag the line off to your waypoint... Magic :)

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cyclists etc

    Michelin's online route planner lets you choose (among other things) "on foot" or "by bike" if either of those apply, and you'd prefer to avoid motorways, toll roads or other things.

  20. Dillon Pyron

    Flooded creeks and railroad crossing

    So now you can deliberately drive through a river and park on a railroad crossing. What will they think of next?

  21. Dillon Pyron

    Wrong location

    Google maps still has our house in the wrong location. I've had several people call when they couldn't find it. Of course, the house numbers are on the curb as well as displayed prominently on the houses. So maybe some of the people I have over are a little "slow".

    Oh yeah, Garmin does the same thing, only they're about 200 yard off and on the wrong side of the street.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Do other mapping programs allow this also?

    Nice that Google has done this. It is kind of obvious at this point, though. I have a copy of MS Streets and Trips 2002 that allows drag and drop of a route. But it is a program on my local computer, not a web based app.

  23. Andy Bright

    Why I love mapquest

    I remember returning to England for a visit about 18 months ago, and seriously not wanting to do a car journey from London to Birmingham..

    Thanks to mapquest I argued that it would take too long.. that we didn't know if the weather in Norway during winter would hold us up, or if ferries even ran between London, Norway and Birmingham at that time of year.

    Some argued that going through Norway wasn't a necessary part of the journey, but of course they weren't using mapquest.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Obvious but...

    ... necessary. Yes, I've moaned that it should have been there for a while, too. And having implemented a GIS (that's what such things were called back in the early 90's), I know how hard this can be.

    But I wonder if this newly-added feature is why a bunch of my maps, that were working earlier today, no longer display the markers I worked so hard to put in place. And when you're putting markers in China - where Google doesn't currently do street mapping by address - it really is work, since you have to click and add the address manually.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    just a gimmick

    It isn't 100% functional... N Quantico St, Arligton VA to Lee Rd, Chantilly VA... first the directions take you a completely moronic way when 66 is only a few blocks away and then you can't move the route to 66. They ought to QA their programming. MQ has my support.

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