Walking versus Driving Directions

2008 January 21
by Karen

When I was in Philadelphia I discovered that there is a great deal of difference when you use a mapping tool and want walking not driving directions. One of the biggest differences is the fact that driving one has to contend with one way streets. This influences the route for driving in a way it wouldn’t not if one is a pedestrian. Furthermore, most web-based mapping tools only consider driving directions, which is a pain in the ass if you are trying to figure out how long it will take you to walk from point A to point B. Ask Maps to the rescue! Unlike the more popular map tools, Ask actually will let you tell if if you are driving or on foot and recalculate the directions and time to arrive accordingly. This feature was a lifesaver when I was trying to figure out if I had enough time to walk to the bookstore and back before my shuttle to the airport left. Since for many of my trips I’m traveling around town on foot, I’ll definitely be using this resource again in the future. (Probably next time will be while I’m in Portland for code4lib)

6 Responses leave one →
  1. 2008 January 27
    mace permalink

    Luckily the map+pathfinding application on my mobile has a setting for letting it know if i’m driving or on foot. I always bicycle, but the latter works well.

    Cars in urban areas are so last millenia :^)

    Thanks for the blog, by the way, it’s rather interesting.

  2. 2008 February 12
    Jen permalink

    Thank you!! I’ve been wondering where to find such a tool. I’ve never bothered owning a car, and I just moved to a big city with lots of one way streets, so it’s nice to estimate how long it’s gonna take me to walk somewhere.

  3. 2008 February 14
    Kathleen permalink

    This is great to know about; as a Philadelphia resident, I’m well too aware of how our network of one-way streets makes a big difference between the routes that you would take driving and walking. Now what I’d really love to find is a mapping tool that lets me click off the actual route that I walk and calculate the distance!

  4. 2008 July 7
    Tim permalink

    I’ve found the Ask Maps interface very frustrating. Have they removed this option? If you’ll allow me to vent a little, I’ll point out that you can’t search an address by its name, only by exact address or by finding it and clicking on the map, which is very frustrating. The map also takes several seconds to load each time you zoom, making it a slow process to find a location this way. And on the Ask page describing the maps feature, I didn’t manage to find a link to the feature.

    On the plus side, it seems to pan very efficiently!

  5. 2008 July 14
    Johnny permalink

    Ask.com has discontinued their product but google is working on a replacement for their product to do the same function.

    I too was very frustrated with trying to locate the feature which I had used back in February. Ask.com still lists the feature in the help screens but has no details.

    http://www.alleyinsider.com/2008/7/google-s-handy-walking-directions-to-pick-up-where-ask-com-left-off

  6. 2009 April 7
    Rebecca permalink

    The website is definitely working since the last couple of posts above.

    It’s good, but there’s still room for improvement. Living near a college campus, there are plenty of places where I can cut through campus on foot; unfortunately there is no website map service, that I’m aware of, that accounts for areas where there are sidewalks but no drivable streets.

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