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RatedMaps.com

A Wiki-Mapping system, like Mappoint/Blast, but directions are rated by users.
 
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RatedMaps.com would generate maps, ala any of the standard web mapping services currently available. The advantage to using RatedMaps.com, however, would be that the user would enter an email address prior to receiving the map. An email could be sent to the user that following the generation of the map and would include a link for the user to rate each stage of the trip as well as add comments to each stage of the trip.

Is Vermont Avenue actually a one-way street? Is there bad construction on Pine Street for the next few weeks? Is traffic always bad on I-65 between the 4:30-6pm? Also, based on the overall rankings, the system could dynamically adjust the directions provided so that they avoid poorly rated roads and routes.

Eventually, as the system developed further, users could actually "reword" the directions to include landmarks. Instead of saying, "Turn Left towards 53rd Street," and a user has a hard time finding a sign for 53rd Street, she could add, "Turn Left towards the large oak tree."

Registered users would slowly gain rankings and "prestige" points as they suggested direction changes or advice that other users rank highly. This "prestige" system would also stop abuse, as the community would slowly weed out users who attempt to sabotage directions. Also, user suggested rankings and directions would always appear in addition to the actual data-provided directions.

Although, quite frankly, when I think back to how horrible these data-provided directions from MapBlast and MapQuest have been, I can't imagine the directions getting much worse even with sabotage.

superultra, Mar 02 2004

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       great idea i have used internet generated directions that miss out roundabouts or fail to maention some odd road design feature that all add to confusion, eapecially as i use the maps as a means of finding the company i'm going for interview at
engineer1, Mar 03 2004
  

       Nice in general, but I don't like the process you outline in detail - this shouldn't involve email.   

       Just give users a way of discussing and commenting on directions right on the webpage (whether or not they're following them), and you'd have something.   

       There could be
- comments about places
- comments about specific directions
- comments that are time-limited ("this exit is closed Sa-Sun 11pm-4am")
  

       There could be a way for users to enter alternative routes.   

       The trust/ranking/group agreement problem is something every user forum is suffering from; I don't think you need to solve it for this particular application.
jutta, May 11 2004
  

       I think this is a fine idea how you have it, but I believe a simpler version would suffice as well. Either way, a map system that could be commented on is a quality idea. +
Bamboo, May 12 2004
  

       · Users could submit photos of landmarks.
· Maps could be presented much like most people draw maps: only including the main route and a few key landmarks and intersections, reducing the map clutter to basically the line that you drive.
· There could be special directions for snow driving routes; routes people have found to get places that avoid hills and roads that are difficult in the snow.
· Alternate routes could be provided where possible like during rush hours, or when there are concerts or sporting events that alter usual traffic.
· Common speedtraps could be indicated in directions and on maps.
· Dangerous or high-crime parts of cities/areas could be noted and alternative routes suggested. Further, certain intersections that have an observed high-accident rate could be noted.
· While reputation management isn't core to the idea it could allow for interesting trip planning options where users in different locales offer their cell/phone numbers as available to call should a traveling user need direction assistance in an unfamiliar place.
bristolz, May 12 2004
  

       Great comments Bristolz. An integration of your ideas pushes this into being, possibly, "social mapping."
superultra, Jul 22 2004
  
      
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