Mapquest driving Direction | About driving and walking Mapquest

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Mapquest  driving Direction | About  driving and walking Mapquest

Mapquest driving direction- MapQuest.com generates maps and directions on the fly. In the Web site’s first month of existence, it got a million hits, and its instant success spawned an industry. Online mapping applications are now a dime a dozen, but MapQuest is still the top performer.

mapquest driving direction

How does MapQuest.com determine the “ideal” route? What are the most common errors and why do they happen? In this article, we’ll look behind the scenes of MapQuest.com to find out how it delivers maps and directions, and we’ll check out some of its lesser-known applications.

MapQuest is pretty much your quintessential online mapping program. Its main functions are FindIt, which lets you find businesses in a particular area.

Maps, which creates a location map based on address, city, zip code, or longitude/latitude coordinates; and Driving Directions, which generates a route from Point A to Point B based on as much address information as you can provide.

It’ll get you from house to house, city to city, or from a mall in Vancouver to an airport in Florida, and it’ll estimate how long it’ll take you to get there.

Every day, MapQuest.com generates about 5 million maps and about 7 million sets of driving directions. MapQuest deals with a lot of data.

It covers the United States, Canada, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, and Spain to the street level, and it covers the rest of the mapped world to the city level.

Sources for this coverage include MapQuest’s own cartography data developed for its print publications, information from digital mapping companies like NavTech and TeleAtlas, and government databases like the one compiled by the U.S.

Postal Service. MapQuest updates its information every three months with any new or corrected data that comes in from its sources.

Technology Of Mapquest driving direction

MapQuest as most of us knows it is 34 servers housed in the AOL Data Center in Virginia. These 34 servers handle all of the data and number-crunching needed to create maps and driving directions on the fly. The task breakdown looks like this:

  1. 15 servers generate maps
  2. 15 servers handle geocoding (matching addresses to longitude/latitude coordinates)
  3. 4 servers create driving routes

Each server is a self-contained unit that stores the same information as the other servers in its task group. If you ask MapQuest to generate driving directions, you’ll end up using any one of 15 geocoding servers (we’ll talk about geocoding in the next section), any one of 15 mapping servers, and anyone of four routing servers by the time the directions show up on your screen.

How To Use Mapquest

Let’s use MapQuest to plan a trip to Peachtree Road in Atlanta, GA. Everything we need to get started is right on the homepage:

The first thing we need to do is locate the Atlanta airport since that will be the starting point for our trip. If we click on “Search for Locations” under “FindIt,” we’re taken to a page with some fields that we’ll fill in with what we’re looking for and the area we want to find it in:

We want to find an airport in Atlanta, GA.

On that same page, there’s also a list of business categories. If you don’t know the name of the place you’re looking for or what to call it, you can search the categories to find the right business classification. You’ll find Airports in the Travel category, along with Auto Rental, Cruises, Resorts, and Sightseeing Tours. Clicking on any one of those subcategories automatically populates the “What” field with that keyword.

When we click “Search for Locations,” MapQuest generates a map of Atlanta followed by a list of search results for “airport.”

Hartsfield Atlanta Airport is the one we want, and it’s about halfway down the list. Immediately beneath the name and address, there are links that let us map or get directions to or from this location:

If we click on “Map,” we’ve got a nice map of our starting point in Atlanta, with the airport in the center:

Right above the map is a field called “Find Nearby”. If we were looking for a hotel to stay in that’s close to the airport, we could enter “hotel” in this field and get a list of hotels in the area.

We generated our map using the FindIt function as our first step. We could have arrived at the same map by entering the address of the Hartsfield Atlanta Airport in the “Maps” section of the homepage. MapQuest will also map a zip code, a city, a state, and a longitude/latitude pair.

We have several options when it comes to moving the map view. We can use the arrows on the map perimeter or we can simply click on the map.

Beneath the map, we can decide what a click will do either zoom in and re-center the map to the point we clicked or just re-center. We can also use the zoom buttons located to the left of the map to zoom in or out. Here’s the farthest out we can go:

Location of Hartsfield Atlanta Airport in North America

There is a box for directions below the map. Once you’ve mapped a location, you can get directions to or from it by entering a starting or ending address. Our ending address is Peachtree Road in Atlanta.

When we click on “Get Directions,” MapQuest generates a driving route from the airport to Peachtree Road.

Our driving distance is 18.82 miles, and our driving time is 24 minutes.

Our driving distance is 18.82 miles, and our driving time is 24 minutes.

If we go back up to the top of the page, we’ve got a few things we can do from here.

Using the “Find Nearby” function, we can find a coffee shop to hang out in until the Peachtree offices open. Since our drive is shorter than 50 miles, we can request a route that avoids major highways if we want to do some sightseeing. We can also reverse the route so we know exactly how to get back to the airport at the end of our trip.

Now that we’ve generated exactly the information we want, we can print it, e-mail it or send it to a cell phone.