Archives for Scott Steinke

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  1. 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

  2. Every day our Traffic feature helps tens of thousands of MapQuest users throughout the US to view up-to-the-minute conditions and plan their routes. We recently added some enhancements:

    1) New Markets – Local traffic coverage in over a dozen new cities:

    • Augusta, GA
    • Corpus Christi, TX
    • Chattanooga, TN
    • Fort Wayne, IN
    • Jackson, MS
    • Lansing, MI
    • Lexington, KY
    • Little Rock, AR
    • Omaha, NE
    • Scranton / Wilkes-Barre, PA
    • Spokane, WA
    • Toledo, OH
    • Tulsa, OK
    Traffic Map in Little Rock, AR

    Our coverage of over 100 metro areas now extends to more mid-size towns – including many that some competitors just don’t cover. And, we’ll be adding more soon!

    2) Closed Roads – We now show you when roads have been marked as Closed by our traffic provider. This designation is typically used for long-term construction-related closures along major highways, for example the “New I-65″ Project in St. Louis (shown) and for emergency situations that extend for a few days, like the recent flooding along Interstate 80/94 in Chicago:

    New! Road Closure on the Traffic feature

    So remember:

    Green = Smooth Sailing
    Yellow = Starting to Slow
    Red = Stop ‘n Go
    Black = Use another route!

    If you haven’t tried out our Road Conditions & Traffic feature, you can find it on the new MapQuest.com Homepage, our new MapQuest Local site, our mobile website, and the new MapQuest 4 Mobile downloadable application. So start using MapQuest to check traffic before heading out on the road!

  3. We’re pleased to announce the launch of our new Current Traffic feature. Now when you bring up a map or generate driving directions, with one click you can easily visualize traffic conditions in most major US metros. This is a great way to quickly check traffic as you begin your commute home from the office, or before heading out to the airport, concert, ballpark, or mall. Keep in mind that once you’ve started your trip, MapQuest Traffic is a real-time feature (updated every five minutes) and things can change quickly once you’re on the road.

    How to use Traffic:

    Traffic view of Miami, FL

    There are two main parts to the feature:

    1. Relative speed or Flow: This is the green/yellow/red highlights over major roads which indicate congestion levels. Think of the colors like this:

      Green = Smooth sailing
      Yellow = Congestion building – be extra cautious and look out for slowing traffic
      Red = Backed up! Plan to be patient, try a detour, or wait for things to improve

    2. Incidents and Construction: Pretty simple – just click on the icons to get more info, or toggle the display on/off using the boxes in the Current Traffic legend.

      Incidents: Accidents and other events which might impact normal traffic flow
      Construction: That stuff that keeps you from getting to your favorite vacation spot on time every summer!

    Traffic view with Incident Info open:

    MapQuest Traffic provides exceptional coverage in over 100 metro areas. So, try it out for your own daily driving needs and let us know what you think. To find out more about MapQuest Traffic and other cool new features, check out Exploring MapQuest!