MapQuest has added more new features, with more coming according to product VP Mark Law. You can now customize your directions by dragging the route to alternative roads and highways.
Here I’m going from San Francisco (where I used to live) to the IKEA furniture store in East Palo Alto:
But if I want to make a detour through the East Bay, I can drag the route accordingly:
MapQuest also has a nice feature (right now only applicable to selected businesses) that shows stores or points of interest along the route. In this example, I’ve checked for movie theaters along the route I’m taking:
And here’s Wal-Mart if I wanted to stop in there before I went to IKEA:
It doesn’t take too much imagination to imagine where this sort of feature (along the route) might go. (Google implemented customized routing last year.)
MapQuest has in recent months come back to life after a long period of near dormancy and limited upgrades. These new features and capabilities make the site much more interesting and useful in my opinion. However Google apparently is continuing to gain on the market-leader’s traffic according to a Hitwise analysis prepared for Mike Blumenthal: