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More Help in the Quest for Maps

New Mapquest Beta Adds Helpful Tools for Planning Routes
Last week I was checking our links directory to weed out broken links and outdated sites (this is a constant chore– visitors like you can help by submitting broken links when you find them). While going through the Maps section I was surprised at how many mapping sites had either gone away or stopped offering free online maps. But what caught my eye that day was an invitation from Mapquest to try the new Beta version of their route planning tool: "Need directions beyond Point to Point B?"

Why yes I do. Sometimes.

Back when Google rolled out their maps tool I was impressed. Then they offered Google Earth and I was impressed even more. So impressed, I haven't really looked at any other mapping web sites in recent history. That's why I wasn't all that optimistic when I launched Mapquest's new Route Builder. Then I caught a little checkbox near the bottom of the route window that changed my mind forever. Avoid Highways.

Now I was getting interested. I plugged in a few cities and towns, changed their order and selected "avoid highways" to see what would happen. The purple route immediately shifted from the superslabs to state highways and secondary roads. To fine tune the route I added small towns along the twisty road I wanted to ride. After a little trial and error I found it pretty easy to resort the list and get the scenic route I was after. It also has an option to avoid tool roads.

If you're planning a motorcycle ride and want to share your route or print it out you might want to give the Mapquest Route Builder a look.

How do you map your rides? Add a comment and let us know.

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