Google Maps is great, but... - Jay Maynard — LiveJournal

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Thursday, 28 September 2006

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0943 - Google Maps is great, but...

...for getting directions, ti's got one major flaw: you can't force it to route over a particular road.

Case in point: I'm planning this weekend's trip from home to Sioux City. Google Maps routed the trip over I-90 and I-29, going through Sioux Falls, a total of 215 miles. Now, Sioux Falls is a very nice place, and I've got friends there, but it's a bit out of the way.

See that nicely marked highway running from Worthington, MN to Sioux City? It's Minnesota and Iowa Highway 60. (Iowa numbers its highways to match the numbers of adjoining state highways, where feasible.) It's a nice road, and 4 lanes for at least part of the way. I wanted to find out how much that would save me in distance. No way, in Google Maps.

Fortunately, I've got a mapping program for the Mac, Route 66. It's a little out of date now, but will do just fine for this function. After a bit of wrangling, I got the answer out of it: 157.2 miles.

I use Google Maps because it's up to date and works fine, but I wish it would do more.

current mood: [mood icon] annoyed

(3 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date: - 0000

Having driven the I-90 and I-29 route on my way to Nodaway I know that that way takes almost exactly three hours, nonstop. There is some construction on I-29 that slows things down in spots but thing keep moving. Hopefully taking Hwy 60 will be a bit shorter in time. It's been several years since I went to Sioux City on Hwy 60 so even if I did remember, things have likely changed since then.

[User Picture]
Date: - 0000
I'd be really surprised if it wasn't, considering it's almost 60 miles shorter...
[User Picture]
Date: - 0000
That type of feature is something I would like to see in Google maps as well. However intelligent routing is very tricky for a computer to do. I mostly use Google maps to learn how to find my way to somewhere I have never been before and then do my own route optimization from there.

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