Feb 2, 2011

MapQuest Debuts Alternate Routes

The routing team at MapQuest has always taken pride in providing driving routes which help you get you to your destination quickly and efficiently. Our routing algorithm has been tuned over many years based on user feedback, and incorporates a wide range of factors from speed limits to road class to the impact of left turns. We’ve added flexibility in recent years by expanding customization options like avoiding tolls, highways, and other road types – and by making routes interactive so you can simply drag onto roads you prefer to use.

As we all know from our own travels in familiar areas however, there is often more than one reasonable way to get between points A and B!

With that in mind, we are pleased to announce Alternate Routes on MapQuest.com.

When you generate driving directions, you will now often see one or two additional options in addition to the “main” route – which is produced using the same time-tested MapQuest technology you’ve come to know and trust. Alternate routes are likely to be just a shade longer in terms of timing or distance – and we won’t show any at all if no good options exist.

You don’t need to do anything to generate alternates – simply look for them under the Suggested Routes heading in the left column.  Each option is given a unique descriptive name based on the main roads it uses. When you move your mouse over the alternate, it will turn light green and you’ll see the alternate route displayed in pink on the map (see image). To select an alternate, just click on the highlighted area and we’ll automatically update your driving directions (for more details, please visit our Help Site).

MapQuest Alternate Routes

We hope you like the additional options, and we’d like your feedback.  If you know of alternates that you think are better than what we’ve shown, let us know by filling out our feedback form (please be specific!).  We’ll use your input to make MapQuest’s alternate routes even smarter.