Google Directions

29 Nov/09

Google Directions is a service by the Google Maps team that can be used to get driving, transit or walking directions. The web interface of the Google service consists of a web form on the left and the map on the right. All that needs to be done to get directions is to enter the starting and ending location in the form Street, City, Country. Google Directions will then automatically calculate the directions (if possible, it is for instance not possible to go by public transit from New York to London) and display the exact directions in the left sidebar. The public transit and walking options are mainly useful for directions in the same city or place, the rest is aimed towards driving directions.

The way is also outlined on the map which will automatically zoom in or out so that the starting point and destination are shown on the map.


The results can be customized further. It is for instance possible to add another destination or to open the options which can be used to configure several additional parameters like forcing Google Directions to avoid highways and tools or to switch between miles and km/h.

Another interesting option is the ability to change the route directly with the mouse. Just move the mouse over the route to do that. A small overlay should appear that notifies the user that the route can be changed by dragging it around.

Another interesting option provided by Google Directions is life traffic which can be displayed for selected countries (England, France, USA) which uses a colored system to display fast or slow traffic on the map.

Some steps of the directions have photos next to it. A click on such a photo will display an image of that location on the same page which can sometimes aid the orientation.

google driving directions

The directions can be printed so that they can be used on the trip. Google Directions can be accessed by anyone with an Internet connection.

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