MapQuest: Tool of the Devil?

This is sort of a poll but may end up in MPSIMS: Has anybody ever had MapQuest directions that actually worked? Everyone I talk to tells me that MQ is evil. Better yet, EEE-Ville!

Their directions work great for general things like “Get me to California” but not so great for specific locations like “Get me to that cool new club.” For some reason MQ tends to pick strange, roundabout ways to get me places. Like shunting me onto 3 different highways when I could stay on the first one with much less hassle and traffic.

Does that happen to anybody but me?

I never trusted it to begin with, so yeah, tool of the devil. I always make my own directions by reading maps.

Have you tried Google Maps for directions? MapQuest is generally a piece of crap (er… an eeeeeeevil piece of crap) compared to Google Maps, but I’ve never really attempted to find directions on Google Maps either.

MapQuest got my mother and me lost in Long Island one day.

I guess I’ve always used MSN maps, or lately, Google Maps. I have noticed some odd direction changes in the MSN mpas, but they’re usuall so obvious that you would know to skip getting off at exit 36, making four right hand turns and two lefts and finally back on at exit 39. I alsways suspected they were taking kickbacks from the owners of the billboards in those areas. If you’re business is delivering eyeballs, why stop with browsing?

Do they have a special color for roads that are paved with good intentions?

MapQuest has worked great for me.

I’m a GIS programmer, so maybe I’m a little bit more familiar with that kind of interface.

The amount of new spatial and tabular data into that system is just incredible.

Addresses change. Street names change. Roads are rebuilt and re-routed. I’m stunned it does as well as it does.

I used to use Expedia exclusively until it gave me 2 bum set of directions in a row.

I switched to MapQuest and got one mistake in about a hundred fifty searches. I’d say that’s pretty good.

That’s the only two I’ve tried.

I’ve never seen a MapQuest map that didn’t have you going out of your way to make things more difficult on yourself. It seems they always have you going the most congested way possible.

slight hijack
enipla this is getting just spooky. Not only do I have your username, I have your profession! I’m also a GISer in the Rockies. I guess I probably know you, or at least have seen you on the GISCO listserv? I’m the GIS Coordinator for San Miguel County.
/slight hijack

And the reason it’s only a slight hijack is that I came in here to blame myself for people getting lost and/or directed over 4x4 roads in the mountains in my area. I just haven’t gotten the data spiffed up enough to send to Teleatlas, the company that sells it to MQ and others. And we’re in the middle of a major readdressing/street naming project. So y’all are SOL in my area until I can get caught up.

I’ve had great luck with MapQuest, with few exceptions.

This weekend, it gave me great directions for getting from a suburb south of Boston to a bar in Kenmore Square – I know the area somewhat, and it’s directions were better than mine were, including the highway exit and one-way streets.

Last year, it left out a crucial step (a whole intermediary street) when trying to get around St. Catharines, Ontario.

Mapquest gives stupid directions from my parents’ house in a different Boston suburb to the highway, but it’s great from there.

I work field service in the Chicago area and drive to obscure areas often. I like to print just the area around my destination since I can usually get myself to within a mile or so of the endpoint with regular street maps. This is the ‘find map’ option rather than the ‘find directions’ option.

I very, very seldom use the directions feature.

I use MapQuest pretty often and I rarely have problems with it.

I don’t know if that proves that MapQuest is okay or if it proves that I’m the Devil, but there you have it.


The best thing about Google Maps is they add an hour on to everything, so you always make good time.

I’ve used MapQuest since moving to Seattle, and so far, so good. It got us to Leavenworth quickly* and easily just this Sunday.

    • as quickly as one can ascend a damn mountain, anyway. But as quickly as could be expected.

I’ve used MapQuest many times, and never had a problem. I do notice that it has bizarre ideas about, say, how to get out of my former hometown, and it’s possible that the rest of the route is similarly bizarre and I ust don’t know it, but I’ve never gotten lost, and have always come in close to the the estimated time.

Used it once to get to Ottawa. It estimated my expected travel time to be 9 hours and 60 minutes (which was amusing) and sure enough, within minutes of 10 hours, I was there.

MapQuest generally works OK (better than the Directions commands on Yahoo, anyway).
But one day I got directions to a kid’s party. It was pretty nearby – only a mile or so away, so I figured my daughter and I could ride our bikes over. We’re always looking for a reason to ride our bikes, anyway.
Turns out that MapQuest relied upon one of those bogus maps that showed nonexistent roads – I hate when they do that. We ended up riding several miles, over very narrow roads with ttraffic on them, over pretty significant uphills and downhills. I called my wife to pick our daughter up after it was all over. MilliCal took it like a trooper, though.

I’ve used it a million times, but I have had one mistake, when it told me to turn right instead of left in Baton Rouge. I was in a neighborhood I did not want to be getting lost in, either. But I turned around and got to where I was going.

For getting around town, I just put in the address and look at the map. I know that from where I live to get just about anywhere it’s going to tell me to take this one road that is a perfectly good road but tends to get backed up so I avoid it. There are other ways to go that I know of. I can pull up the map of the address and pull it back until I can figure out a route to get there.

Since I’m still learning my way around here, MQ has been an invaluable resource. Like for getting me to job interviews and the like. It’s also useful for finding out just how long a road trip sort of drive is going to be, at least in terms of finding out how many miles I’ll have to cover.

Alpine/mtngrrl - check your Yahoo mail. :slight_smile:

I love mapquest, but I rarely, if ever, use it to actually GO anywhere. :wink:
Specifically, I do a lot of writing which has characters travelling hither and yon in distant places. mapquest and yahoo maps let me get a feel for the territory much more quickly and easily than traditional maps.

I’ve had good luck with Mapquest with the exception of one irriating quirk. I live in Lorain County, Ohio, due west of Cleveland, and when I want directions to some place southewest of here, like say in Columbus, Ohio, Maquest insists on sending me 20 miles out of my way east into Cleveland before sending me south. The main highway between Cleveland and Columbus is I-71, and I know how to get to I-71 from here a lot more directly and quickly than going all the way back into Cleveland.

This brings to mind the “Bizarro World” episode of Seinfeld. :smiley: