May 15, 2009

Mapping Online

We are going to drive to Fort Harrison near Richmond for a field trip and I need an estimate of how long it takes. I didn't believe the first estimate of just under 3 hours (I estimated 3 and a half) so I checked other mapping sites.

I checked RandMcNally, Mapquest, Google Maps, and Yahoo maps and they all say it will take 2 hours and 50-something minutes. Interestingly, they each give different directions once we reach the Richmond area (to reach Battlefield Park Rd.) Google Maps even has us cross the Blue Ridge at a different place, recommending US-33 instead of I-64. They have a nifty feature on the main routes - you can click on a section of text in the directions and they show you a photo of the intersection with an arrow drawn on it so you can visualize the with map

Regardless of what they all say, I'm allowing 3 and a half hours. Hopefully, we'll get out early enough to allow even more time so we can take a couple of breaks without rushing. Online mapping has been way off on time estimates for us before, particularly driving down I-81 to meet Kate near North Carolina.

You know, I remember my mother pouring over maps before every trip. Instead, I am printing out directions and memorizing a rough version of the map as seen on the internet. And one of these days we'll get a GPS and let it read out the directions as we drive.

Another mapping post: Over the Mountains to Grafton

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