My family and I recently took a road trip from Philadelphia southward. Google Maps wanted to route us through the Washington D.C. beltway, which can be a parking lot at times, so I re-routed us through Fredrick which only added 5 minutes. Google Maps has the ability to add “waypoints” but it is a hassle and you have to know or guess at intermediate addresses, even if you don’t actually want to go to those places.

You may ask why I haven’t gotten one of those nifty in-car navigation modules – maybe I will write about that another time.

For years I have been irritated that Mapquest doesn’t allow you to add intermediate stops to driving directions. I know they could do it if they wanted to. When we were making the first version of Mapquest in 1994, we already had consumer CD-ROMs with very clean and user-friendly methods, usually involving right-clicking on the map. I suspect that AOL (owner of mapquest) has done some sort of focus group that indicated that people don’t care about this feature.

update – 6-30-07 —–
I just realized that Mapquest added a way to add intermediate stops a year ago. I guess I wasn’t paying attention! My apologies to Mapquest.
update —–

Well someone at Google didn’t get the memo because yesterday, they came out with an awesome way to add waypoints to driving routes, and it is better than what we were doing in 1994. As far as I can tell, this is the first time an online map is easier to use than the desktop applications from 13 years ago. I think it is an important turning point.Here’s what you do: First, plan your route.


Second, grab the blue “route” line near Washington DC and drag it to Fredrick.



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2 Responses to “Incredible Google Map Routing Improvement”

  1. neogeo » Itinéraire à la carte says:

    [...] Une fois de plus GoogleMaps réinvente les règles de l’ergonomie des applications cartographiques sur le web. Désormais leurs itinéraires sont déplaçables à la souris ! Il suffit de cliquer sur un point de l’itinéraire pour aller le dropper un peu plus loin, et l’itinéraire se recompose en temps réel. Bluffant, vraiment bluffant. (via Tech4d) [...]

  2. Mapquest Advocate says:

    Yeah, thats a really neat feature. I’m eagerly waiting for Google to include it in API, so I can use it on one of my mashups… And I guess other big players like Mapquest and Yahoo will follow soon…

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