Mapping Programs - Accuracy

Apr 19th, 2010, 01:44 PM
  #1  
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Mapping Programs - Accuracy

I was trying to get an idea how long it will take to get from Las Vegas airport to Escalante.

This is what I get:

Yahoo Maps 4:44 (304 mi)
Mapquest 5:13 (313 mi)
Google Maps 5:40 (313 mi)

They all show the identical route on the maps.

Any idea which is most correct?
Myer is offline  
Apr 19th, 2010, 01:55 PM
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No one can ever accurately predict exactly how long any drive will take. Depending on how you drive, what traffic you come into, or even if you encounter an animal on the road any of these could be exactly right.

Which would you prefer -- to allow 4:44 and have it take 5:40 or to allow 5:40 and have it take an hour less than that? I suggest you simply plan anywhere between 4 and a half and 5 and three-quarter hours.
NeoPatrick is online now  
Apr 19th, 2010, 03:11 PM
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Mapquest has been the most accurate (a bit longer but not too much) for the way I drive, which is typically 5-8 mph over the posted speed limit.
Bill_H is offline  
Apr 19th, 2010, 05:28 PM
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I, too, wonder why different mapping programs come up with different distances and driving times. In this case, the distances are similar but the driving times aren't. I don't think I could make the trip in 4:45; I'd split the difference between 5:13 and 5:40 and plan to make the trip in 5:30 if I don't stop for lunch or a really long bathroom break.

HTTY
happytrailstoyou is offline  
Apr 19th, 2010, 07:52 PM
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Funny when I use Yahoo! Maps, it show 314 miles and 4:50.
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Apr 20th, 2010, 03:37 AM
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I find Mapquest to be a bit more than a usual drive (without unusual traffic, construction). My built-in car GPS surprisingly must assume everyone goes either at or 5% more than speed limit for entire trip without ever even slowing down for a truck, traffic, etc.

As far as accurate routing, I find differences interesting if I check a route I know well. They all seem to get me there, but sometimes not along the same route or the route I would pick in a familiar area. Are all these differences above using same exact route? I use time estimates as a rough guesstimate only since even if one was more accurate, stuff happens on the road.
gail is offline  
Apr 20th, 2010, 04:44 AM
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In my admittedly anecdotal experience, Google Maps gives only driving times on roads essentially free of traffic delays. It does not allow you to stop for fuel or food or toilets, and yet in your case, it gives the longest trip.

Interesting, but then my driving is in the East Coast corridor from Richmond to Boston.
Ackislander is offline  
Apr 20th, 2010, 05:17 AM
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In any event, I use maps.google and find it much more accurate than the estimates I used to make using AAA maps before any such service was available. On a recent 3,500-mile trip through eight SE states, maps.google never let me down in any substantial way.

HTTY
happytrailstoyou is offline  
Apr 20th, 2010, 05:33 AM
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The routes for all three appear to be identical as I explained above.

It's possible there would be some traffic leaving LAS but the airport is right beside the expressway and last time I just zipped along at about the same time of day.

On a one hour drive I wouldn't mind 10-15 minutes difference. However, some of the drives are quite long and those make a difference as to how I would structure some things.
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Apr 20th, 2010, 09:23 AM
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Which route does it take to get you from I-15 to US89? If it is through Zion NP, the mapping programs may be making different assumptions for delays at the Zion tunnels. There is also construction this year on the east side and that may also cause delays some of the programs are accounting for and some not.
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Apr 20th, 2010, 10:12 AM
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None of the programs selected Rt 9 thru Zion.

They all took Rt 15 up to Rt 20, down thru/past Panguitch and onto Rt 12 to escalante.

The construction shouldn't affect this route.

It will affect me a couple of days later and while I'll call ahead I'm preparing a plan to loop south and then double back thru Hurricane. If my plans don't change (and they are currently in flux/planning) I'll be approaching Zion from Page. This adds about an hour to the drive.
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Apr 20th, 2010, 12:16 PM
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My mapping program (M/S Streets and Trips) always selects Rt 20 also and I have no idea why. Of the three logical routes, it is the longest. The shortest would be UT-9 from above St George through Zion NP. The next shortest is UT-12 from Cedar City across Cedar Mtn. Both of these are hugely scenic. The longest and least scenic would be UT-20.
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Apr 20th, 2010, 01:01 PM
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dwooden,

I tried each of the routes you mentioned on Google Maps.

While the route they chose is very slightly longer than the other two (about 14 miles longer), they have it taking less time (about 12 minutes).

I guess more time on Rt 15 shortens the time and that's what they go by.

It's odd that the options are to avoid highways or avoid tolls. They don't give an option to shorten the distance.
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