Google Customizes Map Directions

Not long ago Google introduced an “avoid highways” checkbox on Maps that provides alternative routing. Now Google has gone much further in that direction (so to speak), allowing users to drag icons on the map to create customized routing. With each change directions update automatically. Here’s the Google Lat Long Blog discussion and here’s an entertaining video that explains the range of new features.

This can be used within cities or on cross country trips. Below I plotted a car trip across the U.S. from New York to San Francisco, with a number of stops in between.

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One of the very nice features of this is the ability to manipulate multipoint directions. In my example above, one could add additional cities with an “add destination” link and then drag and drop the order of those cities.

Today I’m in New York and below I’ve decided to map the route from my hotel to another hotel hosting a conference I’m attending:

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But maybe I want to take a quick side trip to the Museum of Modern Art. I can do that by either adding the museum as a formal destination or by dragging the routing line to MOMA provided I know it’s location:

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These enhancements are valuable and practical additions to Google Maps. While the “click and drag” feature is novel and innovative, Yahoo and Ask also offer easy-to-use mutlipoint directions.

Related Topics: Channel: Local | Google: Maps & Local

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About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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  • http://www.seo-theory.com/wordpress/ Michael Martinez

    It would be helpful if they would just get the map data to agree with where things actually are. Most of the time it seems that businesses are not located where Google Maps says they should be. A lot of people have shared my frustration in trying to use Google Maps to find businesses we’ve never been to.

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