Google Maps Gains “Avoid Highways” Feature

Google has introduced a new “avoid highways” checkbox on Google Maps that provides alternative routing for those looking to, er, avoid highways. In 1982 Native-American author William Least Heat-Moon wrote a memoir called “Blue Highways” about a cross-country trip in which he traveled on minor roads, literally the blue (as opposed to red) highways. This is the Internet equivalent.

Here’s an example (Microsoft to Google):

Highways version:


Avoid highways version:


From a daily use-case perspective, this is a minor, if interesting, innovation. But expect to see a flurry of map-related announcements in conjunction with the Where 2.0 conference next week.

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


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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  • weslinda

    About stinking time. I have seriously missed this feature in the recent iterations of the mapping software tools. This is something that is a huge tool if you live in or near a major city and want to avoid traffic nightmare’s.

  • Cyclelicious

    It’s about time. and MapQuest both have had an “avoid highways” feature for quite a while.

  • Matt Ellsworth

    I have been waiting for this feature as well and i’m glad they added it.

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