Google Maps Driving Directions

A couple weeks ago I blogged about my great-grandfather being born in a town ‘nearby’ Dublin – Warsaw, Poland. The entry provided a link to driving directioins between Warsaw and Dublin.

At the time, GoogleMaps replied: “We could not calculate driving directions between Warsaw, Poland and Dublin, Ireland.” I found that funny.

But in the past two weeks Google Maps has improved their services and now they have the directions It will only take you 1 day and 3 hours. I will admit I actually thought it would involve James Bond’s underwater vehicle, but I forgot about the tunnel underneath the Channel, and there’s a ferry between Holyhead and Dun Laoghaire. (I’m not sure whether it’s a ferry you can take cars on. I may have one or two readers who know, though.)

If you read BoingBoing, you may know that someone posted the driving directions between New York City and Dublin. Google Maps doesn’t flinch with this query either. However, step 23 is “Swim across the Atlantic Ocean – 3,462 mi” (Though one person did the math/s and calculated that’s 4.9 mph for 29 continuous miles, which is pretty fast for a human) If you reverse the directions and you start in Dublin you’ll learn that’s equivalent to 5,572 km. (I think it’s fair they use the units of measurement for the place of origin)

These cross-water instructions aren’t always very efficient, as the instructions for Portugal to Miami illustrates. It seems GoogleMaps is pretty insistent that you start your swim in either France or the UK, and end it in New York. And it’s completely blind to the Pacific Ocean. It gives it’s old “we could not calculate…” error message for even “Hawaii to San Francisco

But it does show they are always working on ways to improve, so I’m sure given time…

0 thoughts on “Google Maps Driving Directions

  1. DL Emerick

    Seems some staff programmer has filled in the blanks, and even assigned random routes to impossible driving directions for europe to america. (S)he’s proably giggling her(him)self silly still.

    If you reverse directions, distance is in KM instead of MI.

    And, http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&hl=en&saddr=Portugal&daddr=Miami,+Florida&layer=&sll=44.339565,-44.648437&sspn=59.182286,117.070313&abauth=7da7e6da:x7dfpO4verMbF9H1tmuzTldNi58&absince=244&num=10 if you want to go from Dublin to Warsaw… no swimming required, apparently — as the dolphiin swims or the (cra)crow flies.

    As for the error message (Hawaii — SF), it reveals the special programming being done for the Atlantic crossings.

    SHOULD I FILE A CASE IN THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE ALLEGING OCEANIC DISCRIMINATION, ON BEHALF OF ALL THE OTHERS OF THE SEVEN SEAS?

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