Monday, July 31, 2006

Secret New Mapquest Feature

I've been using online mapping sites for a long time.

Started using Mapquest sometime pre-1999.

Then My Yahoo came out and I could save locations under my screen name so I switched.

Next was Google Maps, nice clean crisp AJAX, and satellite photos. Everyone wants to see their house from a satellite - genius.

Then came my recent promotion into AOL. This spurred me to start reviewing all of the AOL solutions for my current online brand preferences.

I re-visited Mapquest especially after I heard about the multi-point routing feature (I could have sworn that they offered this feature in the past) and during my investigation I discovered they offered another feature along with it.

The ability to avoid segments of your directions.

There are plenty of times where I get directions online and they include a road I know has lots of traffic and there's a faster way. Now all you need to do is use the multi-stop route building feature (or click on add a stop) and enter your start and end point. Next look at the detailed results and if you see a road that you know you want to avoid click on Avoid and your trip is re-routed.

I'd include some links to example maps, but for some reason the Link to this page feature doesn't remember the avoided parts of the trip. If anyone else isn't having this problem let me know how you get it to work.

If they get this fixed, maybe we see a proliferation of short cuts and alternate routes. I would use it to send directions to friends that utilize back roads.

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