Simple Maps improvements

 Posted by (Visited 317 times)  Misc  Tagged with:
Aug 112017

Map software drives me nuts, because it’s clearly designed only by engineers. I think all of these could be done with current data sets:

If current road segment is blue or yellow and next road segment is red: “Watch out, traffic is getting heavy ahead.”

If current road segment is red and next few road segments are clear: “Traffic is clearing up ahead.”

If past road segment is red, current one isn’t, but the one after is, “Don’t get your hopes up, traffic is still bad ahead.”

If current speed is significantly above average for cars in the next road segment: “Slow down, you’re about to hit traffic!”

If telling the user “turn left/right in n feet,” and there is more than one possible turn between the car’s position and the indicated turn, “Not this one, the next one” and “you want the third right.”

If approaching a turn in the directions, and traffic is heavy, scale the distance at which the driver is warned proportional to the traffic: “You want to try to get over to the right lane now, because it might be tricky.”

If about to make a turn, “This is the left turn you want.”

If about to make a turn left across traffic, and not onto a street, “Turn into parking on the left; keep an eye out for the sign!”

If target location is in an urban area and public parking lots are detected within 1/2m of target location, “Public parking is available nearby. Set that as the destination?”

If circling is detected and there are public parking lots nearby, “Do you want directions to available public parking?”

If approaching a gas station and the interval distance to the next gas station on the route is long, “This is the last chance to fuel up for n miles. How are you on gas?”

If a turn is missed and re-routing is triggered, “I think you missed your turn.”

If a correct and incorrect turn ahead are separated by an angle less than 90 degrees, “This next turn is tricky; you want (the first/the second/the rightmost) road, called name.

If the next turn is at a T intersection, append “at the T” to the turn directions.

Left turns with no light onto red segments should be routed around: “You’ll never be able to make that left turn, there’s no gap in traffic. Let me find another route.”

If path changes (reroutes, traffic estimates, etc) in such a way that destination time changes notably past the original destination time, “You’re going to get there ten minutes later than I originally thought. Do you want to call anyone to let them know you’ll be late?”

If car is moving at very slow speed and in a red segment, “Wow, traffic SUUUUCCKS.”

We often think that accurate feedback is adequate feedback. But that’s not what people actually need. Relatively few people can judge how close they are to a turn in 800 feet when moving a 20mph versus 30mph. People shouldn’t need to watch the screen to be told “you’re going to need to stand on the brakes in three seconds.” And directions shouldn’t guide you to unprotected left turns where you will be stuck waiting half an hour for a break in traffic.

  2 Responses to “Simple Maps improvements”

  1. “Alexa, please wake me up when we arrive at our destination.” 🙂 — these are some great suggestions. I completely agree about the distance feedback. Telling me to turn left in 800 feet doesn’t help. Telling me to turn at the corner after the Starbucks would be so much better.

  2. While I would love a personal navigator to tell me all these things, I don’t think we currently have maps that are accurate and updated often enough to provide this information.

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