How do I use Google Maps to get directions?
I'm supposed to meet my friends at a restaurant in Washington DC later in the month but don't want to appear clueless by asking where it is and how to get to it. I have the Internet, right? So how do I use something like Google Maps or Mapquest to get directions from my hotel when I only know the name of the restaurant?
That's a great question, actually! I find that I frequently use Google Maps for just what you say -- I have a habit of checking addresses and copying and pasting street addresses into my shared calendar, for example -- but it's taken some poking around to get as efficient as I have become with the mapping software.
The key is to tap into the integration between Google search and Google Maps.
Let me show you what I mean...
I have a film screening on my schedule for today (Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, if you must know!) (why? because I also have a film blog) and all the information I got from the movie studio is that it's at "UA Colorado Center". Where the heck's that?
First step, I just enter "UA Colorado Center" into Google search and while it's not the very first match, a few entries down I see:
Now you'll notice that there's a street address here, but I'm lazy so instead of copying and pasting that address, I'm going to just click on the tiny map picture. This takes me to Google Maps where I see the theater location writ big:
I can hide the little information balloon and zoom out a bit to figure out where the theater is within the Denver metro area, but instead, take a closer look at that balloon of options:
I'm going to click on the "Get Directions" text link and without ever going anywhere, I'll now see:
As you can see, it's pre-filled "Boulder, CO", where I live, to make life easy. You can enter your specific street address here or you can just type in your city name since I bet you know how to get around your local area pretty darn well. Either way, enter a starting point and click on "Go"!
For me, I now see a map that includes the route from Boulder to the Denver movie theater:
But more useful, on the left side, I see actual driving directions and (what I look for) an estimated trip duration with and without traffic:
That's it. Print the page with the driving directions and map and you should have no problem getting to your destination thanks to Google Maps!
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