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Old 06-15-2019, 01:49 PM
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Seeking a Good Map Website


I need to give someone directions, and neither Google nor Bing Maps want to give me consistent results. Also, I find they break the route up a bit illogically. Mapuest, as I recall, always wants me to download something, and right now I don't have the time nor the patience. Can someone recommend a good, reliable map website whose directions are usually spot-on?
  #2  
Old 06-15-2019, 01:56 PM
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You can use Waze online to plot directions without downloading or using the app. It still includes user traffic data, and it will give you three options.

I can't promise you it's necessarily better than the other options, but it's different.

https://www.waze.com/livemap
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Old 06-16-2019, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by DCnDC View Post
You can use Waze online to plot directions without downloading or using the app. It still includes user traffic data, and it will give you three options.

I can't promise you it's necessarily better than the other options, but it's different.

https://www.waze.com/livemap
Looks good, at first. It picks a few routes as options. But, when I select the desired route, I do not see the where / how to generate turn by turn directions! Your thoughts?
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Old 06-16-2019, 07:46 AM
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Michelin’s route planner is good, in my experience:

https://www.viamichelin.com/web/Routes
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Old 06-16-2019, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Jinx View Post
I need to give someone directions, and neither Google nor Bing Maps want to give me consistent results.
Really? We just had a friend from Vegas (and her husband and two kids) stay with us for a few days. Last Saturday she sent a group text to everyone she knows in western PA, giving our address: 123 kayaker lane Anytown, PA 15613.

She invited 10 people, one had prior plans, nine showed up with no difficulties using whatever GPS app they had on their phones. People need to be given "directions"?
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Old 06-16-2019, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Jinx View Post
I need to give someone directions, and neither Google nor Bing Maps want to give me consistent results.
In what way are the results inconsistent? At least for Google Maps, I thought it provided a "permalink" URL that shows you exactly the same route on repeated visits.
Quote:
Also, I find they break the route up a bit illogically.
If there aren't too many such problems, then in Google Maps you can always manually adjust the directions by dragging on the route to create a new waypoint. This will result in a new permalink URL that you can send.
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Old 06-16-2019, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Jinx View Post
Looks good, at first. It picks a few routes as options. But, when I select the desired route, I do not see the where / how to generate turn by turn directions! Your thoughts?
Huh. It appears to have changed. It used to be you just clicked on any of the options and it switched to turn-by-turn directions, but I guess they removed that. Sorry.
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Old 06-16-2019, 11:08 AM
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AAA used to (and apparently still does) have those wonderful Triptiks, small spiral bound paper maps for members. Their website also offers online trip planning through their mobile app, though I've never used it. May be worth a look, especially if you happen to be a member.
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Old 06-16-2019, 11:43 AM
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god I miss ClassyGMap.

Is it just me ( my computer / my eyeballs / etc) or goes Google Maps have such shitty contrast that you can't even see where the freaking roads are any more?

What I want from a map site:

•enter origin and destination, can accept crossroads when you don't know the street address
• displays map of the route
•car, public trans, or walking as modes of travel
•lets you drag any portion of the route to a different path and it recalculates on-the-fly as you do
• you can clearly see the streets, cross streets (with their labels/names), and major landmarks
• lets you SAVE your route as an URL and open it later or email it etc
•satellite view
• add unlimited number of destinations/points and each one appears as a marker
•ideally, choices for the colors that it uses
• written directions / instructions with choice of simple (NY-25 east to Herricks Rd; turn right; continue onto Old Country Rd; turn left at Maple) or verbose (at intersection of Herricks, Rockaway, and Old Country Rd, continue to the left; slight left to stay on Old Country Rd...)
• printable directions that give option of not including the map
• printable map (resizes to fit paper size)
• runs on a goddam computer, doesn't require a cellphone
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Old 06-16-2019, 12:02 PM
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Out of curiosity, which of those doesn't Google Maps do? So far as I can tell, it does everything you say except maybe the markers aren't as nice as you like them (it doesn't show up as colored pins for me, but just a labeled destination point. But there are markers for your stops.) Streets look fine and identifiable to me, but I can see how it's maybe a little hard to see.
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Old 06-16-2019, 11:18 PM
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Not yet mentioned in this thread is Here. I seldom use directions offered by online maps, so I can't speak from experience, but it is now owned by a consortium of auto companies who purchased it to undergird their satnav and autonomous vehicle efforts. I do find it consistently has the most accurate streetnames in North America.

The fourth worldwide map database is OpenStreetMap, but its routing engine is still more-or-less in beta testing.
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Old 06-17-2019, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by DCnDC View Post
Huh. It appears to have changed. It used to be you just clicked on any of the options and it switched to turn-by-turn directions, but I guess they removed that. Sorry.
That's still there for me, though they've made it drop down a bit more. I asked for directions, it gave me a few options, click on one and it gives more general directions. I asked for a two hour drive and it said go towards this town. Click on that and it gives turn by turn directions. You can even click on THAT and it showed a photo of the turn.

The one thing I don't like that they've changed is it used to tell you how long it would take 'normally', but now it only says what it will take right now. I usually use it for future trips and want an estimate of how long it might take without traffic.
  #13  
Old 06-17-2019, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by KMS94 View Post
AAA used to (and apparently still does) have those wonderful Triptiks, small spiral bound paper maps for members. Their website also offers online trip planning through their mobile app, though I've never used it. May be worth a look, especially if you happen to be a member.
You can make your own Triptik online now. I've done it about half dozen times. It's quite good.
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Old 06-17-2019, 11:15 AM
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Providing GPS coordinates sometimes provides better results on Google maps. Especially if you live in a new subdivision.

I use the App My GPS Location to get the coordinates. There's a copy to clipboard option that makes it easy to paste the coordinates into an email.

Last edited by aceplace57; 06-17-2019 at 11:17 AM.
  #15  
Old 06-17-2019, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by kayaker View Post
People need to be given "directions"?
That was my first thought too. Anyone with a smart phone has a perfectly serviceable GPS platform. Waze is a free app that works very well.
  #16  
Old 06-17-2019, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
Out of curiosity, which of those doesn't Google Maps do? So far as I can tell, it does everything you say except maybe the markers aren't as nice as you like them (it doesn't show up as colored pins for me, but just a labeled destination point. But there are markers for your stops.) Streets look fine and identifiable to me, but I can see how it's maybe a little hard to see.
The part about being able to clearly see the streets. As in "at all". The contrast is so awfully bad I can't distinguish the streets from the non-street surrounding areas so it's pretty much useless.

The part about being able to choose the colors that it uses. ClassyGMap gave me something like six different options. I think Google Maps originally did but they ripped all the nice stuff out.

Been awhile since I tried Google Maps for unlimited location "pins" but the last time I did so it didn't keep the previous addresses when you added new ones. So you could not put in 75 addresses and end up with 75 pins displaying on your screen.

I also seem to recall that at some point Google Maps would no longer let you make more than a very limited number of drag-to-different-route changes (which inserts a midpoint "destination" at the drag point), whereas ClassyGmap had no limits that I ever encountered.
  #17  
Old 06-17-2019, 12:16 PM
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Specifically what site offers good printable maps? Google Maps used to years ago but now they are unreadable--at least on a black and white printer.

Last edited by PastTense; 06-17-2019 at 12:16 PM.
  #18  
Old 06-17-2019, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by AHunter3 View Post
The part about being able to clearly see the streets. As in "at all". The contrast is so awfully bad I can't distinguish the streets from the non-street surrounding areas so it's pretty much useless.
I don't understand this part. Are talking about on your screen, or when you print it out, or what?
  #19  
Old 06-17-2019, 01:41 PM
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The part about being able to clearly see the streets. As in "at all". The contrast is so awfully bad I can't distinguish the streets from the non-street surrounding areas so it's pretty much useless.

The part about being able to choose the colors that it uses. ClassyGMap gave me something like six different options. I think Google Maps originally did but they ripped all the nice stuff out.

Been awhile since I tried Google Maps for unlimited location "pins" but the last time I did so it didn't keep the previous addresses when you added new ones. So you could not put in 75 addresses and end up with 75 pins displaying on your screen.

I also seem to recall that at some point Google Maps would no longer let you make more than a very limited number of drag-to-different-route changes (which inserts a midpoint "destination" at the drag point), whereas ClassyGmap had no limits that I ever encountered.
OK. I see being frustrated if you were used to a piece of software like ClassyGMap (which I am not familiar with myself) that gave you all those options. I admit, I didn't try putting anywhere near 75 waypoints into Google maps. I think the most I've ever needed from a trip was four, possibly five. But if you just mean static pins, you can certainly put in 75 pins (I think--I have plenty of maps saved with at least several dozen pinned locations in them, and I have a Google Map I made with about 500 pins on them--and those you definitely can choose color--but that was through the API and I don't know whether it works as well from the webpage. ETA: Actually, I checked, and you can absolutely create a map with pinned locations with different colors on the pins.

Last edited by pulykamell; 06-17-2019 at 01:45 PM.
  #20  
Old 06-17-2019, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by manson1972 View Post
I don't understand this part. Are talking about on your screen, or when you print it out, or what?
On my screen.

It looks like this.
  #21  
Old 06-17-2019, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
OK. I see being frustrated if you were used to a piece of software like ClassyGMap (which I am not familiar with myself) that gave you all those options. I admit, I didn't try putting anywhere near 75 waypoints into Google maps. I think the most I've ever needed from a trip was four, possibly five. But if you just mean static pins, you can certainly put in 75 pins (I think--I have plenty of maps saved with at least several dozen pinned locations in them, and I have a Google Map I made with about 500 pins on them--and those you definitely can choose color--but that was through the API and I don't know whether it works as well from the webpage. ETA: Actually, I checked, and you can absolutely create a map with pinned locations with different colors on the pins.
Where I've had a wish to do this is when we need to canvass all the people registered Green Party within a specified district. Once I have all the locations "pinned" on the map, I can make up a driving route that efficiently wends its way through all those streets and hits all those houses & apartments. I wasn't asking the map site to come up with the route, just to display each address as a pin while continuing to display the previously inputted addresses with a pin so that they'd accumulate. Google Maps at some point stopped doing that the way they used to -- older pins would start disappearing from the map at a certain point. (For all I know, they fixed that, but first they broke it).
  #22  
Old 06-17-2019, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by AHunter3 View Post
On my screen.

It looks like this.
that is about the way it looks to me. Doesn't bother me though. I can differentiate the roads vs non-roads. I am not seeing your problem here. Google maps does make mistakes, but the other 99% of the time, it gets me where I need to go. ?
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Old 06-17-2019, 09:47 PM
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I can differentiate the roads vs non-roads. I am not seeing your problem here.
It takes me 20 minutes of staring to figure out what routes would take me from one point on the map to another. I basically can't differentiate the roads from the non-roads. There isn't enough contrast. If it weren't for the road labels I would not be able to tell you whether there were any roads on that screen at all.

It wasn't originally like that. They had better contrast on their default map screen, plus you could switch to other color schemes.
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Old 06-17-2019, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by AHunter3 View Post
Where I've had a wish to do this is when we need to canvass all the people registered Green Party within a specified district. Once I have all the locations "pinned" on the map, I can make up a driving route that efficiently wends its way through all those streets and hits all those houses & apartments. I wasn't asking the map site to come up with the route, just to display each address as a pin while continuing to display the previously inputted addresses with a pin so that they'd accumulate. Google Maps at some point stopped doing that the way they used to -- older pins would start disappearing from the map at a certain point. (For all I know, they fixed that, but first they broke it).
If all you're doing is adding pins to a map, that should work fine. It's under Google Maps > Your Places > Maps and then click on "Create Map" all the way on the bottom of the left panel. I'm looking, and I have a map with 155 pins saved to it, so it should handle 75 fine. This is just a map with pins in it, though, not directions or anything like that (which it sounds like you don't need.) You have a choice of 30 colors/shades with each pin.
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Old 06-17-2019, 10:20 PM
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that is about the way it looks to me. Doesn't bother me though. I can differentiate the roads vs non-roads. I am not seeing your problem here. Google maps does make mistakes, but the other 99% of the time, it gets me where I need to go. ?
It's difficult to tell what AHunter3's monitor shows, though. I could differentiate the roads fine on the screenshot, as well, but I do have a calibrated monitor. That said, he does have a point. It does feel to me like there could be a smidge more contrast or at least an option to change the color scheme for those who have difficulty making out the contrast or are on monitors with settings that may make it difficult to see the distinction between the roads and the backgrounds. I was Googling the problem, and it seems a lot of people have this issue, and it seems the solution is to adjust the contrast and white balance of the monitor, but there really should be a way to adjust the look of the map. I mean, the API allows you to use your own custom colors, so why not give users of Google maps the option, especially as, monitor issues aside, it would be helpful for those with eyesight problems that make it difficult to detect relatively small to medium changes in tone.
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Old 06-17-2019, 10:57 PM
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I think Google deliberately uses low contrast for the general map so that the information that they overlay on it shows up more clearly. This is actually a good thing in most cases, especially when navigating. My car navigation system does not do this, and it's practically impossible to quickly glance at the map and pick out the route it's trying to show me from the dense mess of streets. (That fact that it doesn't autozoom like Google Maps does makes it worse.) A passenger of mine actually burst out laughing when he first saw the car's map, which at that point looked like a Jackson Pollock painting. On the other hand, if you're just browsing the map itself I can see where you might want more contrast, although personally I have no trouble reading it. It would be nice if there were a contrast option, but if it has to be only one way, I prefer the current low contrast model.

Last edited by markn+; 06-17-2019 at 10:57 PM.
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Old 06-18-2019, 07:08 AM
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I am surprised by the people posting here who assume that GPS/mapping software works so well.

The news regularly reports on people getting sent down non-existent roads and what not by their GPS systems.

There's an error in my own little neighborhood just a short distance away. Google shows a road going on well past it's actual ending. I've reported it twice to Google and I just checked and it's still wrong.

If you try to drive that stretch of non-road it's not going to go well for you. Esp. if you are driving a truck.

Several years ago we had several people in town for some big events. I noticed that it took a long time for the out of towners to get from A to B or back. Turns out their map software was taking them thru a side street rather than the freeway nearby. So I printed up directions and handed them out to show people the right way to go.

They still followed their GPS. They were still late all the time.

So someone printing out instructions on how to get somewhere is a good thing and people need to pay attention to that. Assume that a computer generated route may not be the best route or even correct.

Last edited by ftg; 06-18-2019 at 07:08 AM.
  #28  
Old 06-18-2019, 08:27 AM
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I'm at work and the screenshot I took at home definitely shows with more contrast on this screen than on my laptop's screen. Still not as contrasty as I would like but I can see the roads in a way that I can't at home. (I should play with the display settings, too).
  #29  
Old 06-18-2019, 10:35 AM
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That was my first thought too. Anyone with a smart phone has a perfectly serviceable GPS platform. Waze is a free app that works very well.
Maybe if they shake their fists at it harder and mumble about kids these days and new-fangled inventions, things will work better for them.
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Old 06-19-2019, 07:09 AM
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You can use Waze online to plot directions without downloading or using the app.
This reminds me to delete the Waze app from my phone. I tried using it twice while on vacation recently and it screwed up the route both times.
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Old 06-19-2019, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by AHunter3 View Post
I'm at work and the screenshot I took at home definitely shows with more contrast on this screen than on my laptop's screen. Still not as contrasty as I would like but I can see the roads in a way that I can't at home. (I should play with the display settings, too).
It's similarly bad for me when using Firefox, but just fine using Chrome.
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