When it comes to getting directions, most people turn to the web for assistance. From Google Maps to MapQuest, Yahoo! Maps and beyond, there are plenty of options to help you get from point A to point B in as little time as possible. The question is which of these online directions services is the best. Let’s look at the top contenders to help you pick the best website for driving directions.
The beauty of Google Maps is its ease of use. Type in your current location and your desired destination into Google’s search engine and you will immediately be provided with accurate directions. Though Google Maps directions are not always 100 percent correct, they have a remarkably accurate track record. Furthermore, Google Maps provides a charted course for the expedition on a digital map to the right of the directions. The map provides aerial photos as well as view from the streets one must traverse to reach his selected destination. Google Maps is not limited to the United States. This directions service can even help you navigate streets abroad. The interface is incredibly fluid. The map and its markers look fantastic. It even lets you compare current traffic levels to predicted traffic levels in the coming hours.
For all the praise heaped on Google Maps, there are also some negative reviews about this directions provider. Some disappointed Google Maps users report the service sends them to closed roads, roads that abruptly end and to other areas they never intended to go. Yet this is true of all online directions providers. If you are sent far away from your destination due to faulty directions and end up speeding to get back on track, you run the risk of getting a ticket. Be sure to enroll in a defensive driving course to mitigate the impact of your speeding ticket. Attending a defensive driving course will keep your automobile insurance rates under control, remove points from your driver’s license and help you drive in as safe of a manner as possible.
This “online directions” website is not the most popular yet it will get you to your destination by way of the most efficient route in nearly every instance of use. Yahoo! Maps features built-in GeoRSS support, a built-in geocoding capability, open APIs and even offers a flash version. However, the service is limited to those seeking directions to and from destinations in the United States and Canada. The presentation is not quite on the level of Google’s incredibly polished Maps service. Furthermore, Yahoo! Maps does not empower wayward travelers to examine the terrain/streets with aerial photographs.
MapQuest is one of the web’s oldest directions websites. It has a fairly simple user experience design along with a polished web aesthetic. MapQuest offers built-in routing as well as built-in geocoding. The site provides icons for left turns, right turns and merging. MapQuest also features a convenient “Avoid” button that lets users bypass certain intersections that are overly busy or rife with construction. However, it does not provide photos of any sort to help ameliorate the challenges of traveling in unknown parts. Plenty of people have complained MapQuest sometimes provides quirky directions that are not always the most efficient. Furthermore, MapQuest traffic data can be described as somewhat of a mess of blue and green lines that make it quite difficult to gauge traffic levels in particular parts of town.
And the Winner is….
Google Maps is clearly the premier online directions provider. People across the world are partial to Google Maps’ comparably simple and direct search box interface for good reason. This setup appeals to people of all web/computer experience levels. Perhaps most importantly, Google Maps is visually friendly. It makes excellent use of color, provides different viewpoints of streets and has all sorts of remote areas mapped down to the very last details.