Directions on Google Maps just got seriously useful!

June 29, 2007

Google have announced a new feature on Google Maps related to it’s directions feature.

Now, you know how annoying it is with all the online driving directions services when the route they return is one that you know could be quicker if a slight detour was taken. Or maybe you know of some roadworks somewhere that you want to avoid, and of course Google Maps can’t be aware of that so sends you straight for them? Or maybe you need directions to somewhere but want to make a stop off somewhere along the way which is slightly off route? Now Google Maps can give you that flexibility!

The new feature allows you to click on a point in your plotted route and drag it to another road. Doing this once will replot the route on your chosen road. A bit of an odd feature/niggle seems to be that in an area with a lot of roads it sometimes just gives you a spur off your main route, although this could be useful too. You can click on as many points on the route as you like and position them on other roads to get round this in areas where the road system is very complex.

It’s fantastic! A constant annoyance of mine is driving directions calculators that send you down the wrong route. This new feature allows for human input to a route which adds immense value. Now you could share a route with your friends and they could amend it if they know that there is a quicker way.

With Google Maps now available on mobile, I’m wondering how long it will be until Google can tie that in with a GPS receiver to turn it into a true GPS driving directions engine (watch out TomTom)!

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