Nov 6, 2008

Drag your Way to Customized Directions!

Ever wish you could modify your MapQuest route simply by dragging it around on the map? Well, your wish is coming true.

As part of our ongoing effort to allow MapQuest users more flexibility in tailoring driving directions to their preferences, we are introducing a new draggable route feature. This is a great way to quickly modify your route to avoid traffic or construction, explore a scenic route, or simply use roads you know you prefer. Please give draggable routes a try and let us know what you think as we test and fine-tune it.

The feature is easy to use. The basics:

  1. Generate a route
  2. Click on the blue route highlight and hold your mouse down
  3. Drag the route onto your preferred path. As the mouse is dragged, you will see the “potential” route displayed if the mouse were released at that point
  4. When the mouse is released a small red circle (called a “via” point) will be placed at that point.

Your route will then be modified to pass through that via point, and your directions will be updated (note that you may need to add more than one via point to get exactly the route you want). You can interact with the via by dragging it to another new location or hovering over it to see more options.

These include:

  • Remove (simply removes the point from consideration in route calculation)
  • Search for places nearby
  • Add as a Route Stop (this makes it appear as a lettered stop on your map and directions)

Helpful hints:

  1. Zoom In. Generally only roads shown at any specific zoom level will be used in route recalculation. Zooming in allows you to more precisely place via points where you want them and avoid unwanted “detours”
  2. Patience is a Virtue. It may take a couple seconds to process your request and update your route
  3. Watch those “potential” routes. Look carefully at the possible routes shown as you drag the mouse (careful, this gets addictive). Let go of the mouse only after you see your preferred route path

We are pretty excited about this feature, but then (having pioneered online driving directions) we’re geeks for this sort of thing. We hope you like it too – give it a try today.

Please send any feedback to: http://help.mapquest.com/jive/mqfeedback.jspa