MouseWax – I Hate Mapquest
Today’s Mousewax highlights something a lot of us online-types have dealt with: the sometimes over-the-top descriptive instructions you get from some online direction/map providers.
I haven’t noticed the problem with Google Maps as much, but I’ll never forget the last time I used Mapquest. Jen and I were headed for a Pharcyde concert in downtown Detroit, and while I’m pretty sure we followed the printed instructions exactly we somehow ended up on a road that ran, literally, along the Detroit River. The bridge to Canada loomed above us, and I remember saying “Ok, there’s the bridge, there’s Canada, and we still have no idea where the hell we are.”
We could’ve found our way home if we had to, and we did eventually find our way to the concert (which was blast), but there’s no doubt in my mind that if the instructions were a little simpler the whole situation wouldn’t have happened. For example, if I’m taking 94 West towards Chicago I don’t need to know “Stay right at fork… Take 94W/69S… Stay on 94W/88E blah blah blah take I294-N exit.” I’m already on 94W. I don’t need to know every little branch in the road, just tell me “Stay on 94W until you reach 294N.”
I can understand how some people could really love this feature, but if you’re getting directions for a location in your own town it shouldn’t treat you like you’re a tourist.