Google Mapquest Driving Directions
Features Mapquest Driving Directions and others too... Since I have a genuine interest in driving directions and mapping software, I thought I just publish this quick review from my friend Joshua Nestor, where he compares some of the web sites where you can get driving directions. We are not talking GPS devices here, just plain old online services. For some mysterious reason he omitted Yahoo - don't ask me why...
However both Google Maps and Rand McNally are mentioned. Please note this review has been written a while ago, so mapblast or more exotic services like aa route planner are not included.
Quick Driving Directions Review
I realize I am probably dating myself just a little... but web based mapping services like G-Maps just astonish me. Whoever found out how to map any block on the planet in 5 seconds has to be rich... if not they definitely should be.
If you never utilized this wonderful online service, go to maps.google.com right now. It doesn't matter where or when you are going... the shortest most up to date driving instructions and road maps are milliseconds away.
I have been using G-Maps service for a quite some time. Their technology continually advance, and alongside with it, even the detail of the maps has advanced considerably. There are other key web properties that also provide geo mapping with great success as well. The big 3 are Google, reknown MapQuest and the grand granddaddy of them all, Rand McNally.
I'm going to do a short cursory overview of these three services, which with any luck will hopefully save you some time when you get to the websites.
I switched to G-Maps service after using Map Quest for nearly 8 years (more about Map Quest details below). What spoiled my customer loyalty after all those years, was studying the online instructions at G-Maps. You know, when all else fails - you read the instruction?
It is really a miraculous bit of technology which will present you with both maps almost anywhere in the world and detailed driving instructions for USA, Canada - in fact probably in most countries.
To try to cover all of G-Maps in this tiny review would fail, so let's look at the focal features of this web site and you can learn all the rest when you get there.
You can observe nice earth satellite images all over the planet and overlay streets on those beautiful satellite images, it's awesome.
You can zoom into famous Eiffel Tower in Paris and actually distinguish curious tourists walking around it or see the cars entering the steep ramp of the Brooklyn Bridge. Map overlays (sic!) can be added for almost anywhere as well.
Perhaps the most unique tool of online mapping is the users ability to alter any route that the computer shows. If you want to drive a different route then all you need to do is to drag and drop your preferred route trail to a completely different location. Many times when you want to go to alternate locations on your planned route... other sites will not easily enable you to do this, with Google it's a breeze.
Rand McNally has been making all kinds of maps and road atlases for a long time. Word has it that even Fred Flintstone used their atlas. They still prefer to produce the printed map or atlas and sell quite a lot of them. Next time you stop at any gas station check by the register, it's a safe bet you'll be able to find Rand McNally maps for sale there. Now, having said that, they too have excellent e-maps and directions. I find them especially useful for comparing routes with Google or Map Quest as a double check kind of thing.
Map Quest is the grandma of computer mapping started in the 1960s by Donnelly Advertising. Long after they were bought in 2000 by AOL.
I could not count now how many times in the past Mapquest has provided me accurate driving directions. They have excellent USA, Canada, and even European coverage but are definitely way weaker on the rest of the planet. If you use them in the United States, they are quite specific and generally dependable. The map accuracy though drops off a tad in high growth cities, mapping always lags fast growth .
Map Quest has a small "Gas Prices" icon right on the top menu bar that will search for you for the best gas or diesel prices practically anywhere in the US. This is a real world money saver and I check it almost before every fill up if I can.
Hope this short review helps you never to get lost again, and many safe travels to you always.