Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Google Search's New Distance Function

Google Search's New Distance Function

Hey, you no longer have to pile in on a maps function to find out how far it is from point A to point B!  With Google slowly but surely integrating everything they do and own into one giant app, they've finally gotten to the point where now you can ask how far two points are, away from each other and you'll get the map directions.

Cool.

So I gave it a try and sure as s*!, it works, as it gives you distance, time and turn-by-turn directions in the answer.

But there are some MINOR flaws, that I'm going to point out, with a humorous oversight in mind.

I punched in "how far is leeds, maine from menlo park, ca

I was initially led to believe the catch phrase "how far is" is needed in the search.  But in other tests for shorter distances, I left that out and it still worked.  But when I pulled it out for this search test, I got airline flight info.  Hmm, this still might be working just fine, because who the heck wants to drive thousands of miles???

The answer was 3,278.2 miles away.

Google obviously did what it does best, and point out the shortest distance between two points.

But if there are any seasoned travelers out there, you know there are three primary routes to get from CA to ME!  And in January, it isn't through Reno, NV!!!  Or Wyoming or Nebraska!

Though at the bottom of the turn-by-turn directions is the disclaimer,

"These directions are for planning purposes only. You may find that construction projects, traffic, weather, or other events may cause conditions to differ from the map results, and you should plan your route accordingly. You must obey all signs or notices regarding your route"

Yep... this time of year, you want to stay below the evil weather and take the southern route which takes you across AZ, NM, TX, then up through OK, MO, OH and PA.

Oh, and for god's sake, it might technically be a 2 day drive, but seriously, the best time my father ever made going across country was just about 3 days.  Humans do need to nap once every day or two!

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But seriously, with all the innovation and companies that Google buys up, I'm sure in time, they'll have awesome modifications that take sleep and weather into account, somewhere down the road in time.  Oh word, "down the road," that was an unintended pun.

But I'll take the credit for it!


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Hi - sorry for the confirmation but I need to weed out the noise from the well intended comments. Thanks for leaving a note... - Bruce