Planning a trip, want a tech toy to "make it all easy"
July 12, 2011 8:39 PM   Subscribe

Is there some kind of easy, intuitive, free trip-planner out there that goes beyond just "start here, end there?"

I want more than Mapquest's Start Here, End Here. But I'm a liiitttle technophobic, so not very good at hunting around and finding what's out there. Maybe you can help :)

We are planning a 7 day round trip drive from Washington to Maine & back & I need a mapping program that will draw me a map of my trip, but also show stopover points that I put in. I'd like to have the option of tweaking the suggested route, if the suggested route crosses a bridge that is too high for my acrophobia. I'd also like to know if there's any way to find out about those awful bridges ahead of time. And, if it's not too much to ask from one program, I'd really love it if the program could help us find things to do & places to stop along the way. For instance, my SO loves junkyards. Maybe this sight can plot all the junkyards within 2 miles of the highway on demand? Help with locating nearby hotels/campsites/picnic areas when we have to stop? I know lots of mapping sites offer hotel links, but I'm looking for something a little more point-specific than "Red Roof Inn does business in NJ, call them to find out if they'll be convenient to you."

Possibly this is pie in the sky, but if meFites have any favorite trip planning sites and/or secrets I would love to hear them.
posted by Ys to Travel & Transportation (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
In Google Maps, you can get directions by putting in a start and end point. Where it gets neat is that you can zoom in and drag the suggested route line wherever you want and it will update the whole thing.
posted by This_Will_Be_Good at 9:12 PM on July 12, 2011

Google Maps. Get your directions, then stay on that exact same webpage in the same browser window but do a new search for "junkyard." Red markers should pop up near your route if there are any junkyards nearby. You can also search for [junkyard near 123 Main St, Anytown, US] or [junkyard in Anytown, US]. As the first comment said, you can tweak your route.
posted by John Cohen at 9:42 PM on July 12, 2011

If you search for your route in MapQuest a little text box will appear above the "Satellite" button on the map (mine says "e.g. florists"). MapQuest will search for points of interest along your route that match that text if you type something in there and hit enter.

For example, I created a route from Seattle to Chicago and searched for "junk yard". This is what I got:

Google Maps doesn't allow you to restrict your query to "along the route" like MapQuest does.
posted by yellowbkpk at 9:56 PM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks y'all. My skilllz that's helping a lot!
posted by Ys at 4:49 PM on July 15, 2011

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