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The Blue Line

John Federico

Google Maps rocks.

Yeah, that's not exactly news but, have you had a chance to use The Blue Line?

It used to be that getting driving directions on the web was a lot like buying a suit off the rack - take it or leave it. Using The Blue Line in Google Maps is more like having a custom suit made by a Saville Row tailor. (OK, except for the bespoke part. Work with me here, ok?)

I had to go to client meetings in Westchester today. During breakfast I heard on the TV that there was a 45 minute delay in getting over the George Washington Bridge into New York - the only route to my client that I knew at that moment. (I still haven't gotten a mount for my GPS system that fits in my Mini. That's another post...)

So, I pulled up Google Maps and plotted directions. The result? The same route I usually take.

Click the image to enlarge.

Blue Line 1 Thumbnail

But then, there it was: The Blue Line.

In a recent update to Google Maps, Google enables you to click and drag the blue line that represents your route on the map and plot new directions from your starting point to your destination. You can even do interesting things like route around a known construction area or accidents, etc.

Google maps will provide turn-by-turn directions based on the route you plot. I'd read about it but hadn't had yet found a practical use for it - until now.

I had a general idea about an alternative route to take, so I dragged the blue line to a highway that was slightly west of my usual route that allowed me to take the Tappan Zee Bridge into New York.

Click the image to enlarge.

Blue Line 1 Thumbnail

Well whaddya know. My general knowledge of how to get where I wanted to go allowed Google Maps to provide me with turn-by-turn directions to my client's offices without sitting in traffic.

And I arrived just in time.

The Blue Line is your friend. Learn to love The Blue Line.

[tags]Google, Google Maps, Directions, Mapping, Maps, GPS[/tags]