MapQuest for Mileage

Try MapQuest for Mileage calculations, but use belt & braces - compare mileages calculated on other sites.

MapQuest for mileage, compared to other sites

After trying MapQuest for mileage calculations, try comparing it with other sites. Most free map sites have mileage calculators of some kind or another. Some may be better for your location.

Try comparing map software on local sites with MapQuest for mileage calculations. Look for consistency and inconsistency in the results. Several mileage calculators have made the news for sending users down some very strange routes. The best way to avoid this is try different web sites until you get results that agree across the different sites. Also, try calculating driving directions and mileages on routes that you know well. When you find tools that agree with your knowledge of these routes you will have a good indication that they can be trusted.

MapQuest for mileage - background

MapQuest is a free Web Map Service (WMS) owned by AOL. The map creation software was originally developed by GeoSystems as a non-web based application. It was later adapted for use on the internet. Geosystems was renamed MapQuest when the application became more well known than the company. 

MapQuest has experimented with satellite images, but removed them to maintain the purity and brand image of its street map service.

MapQuest provides street maps, driving directions and mileage calculations for many countries, including: United States, Canada, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Dominican Republic, France, Haiti, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

A MapQuest for mileage focussed Yellow Pages service is provided by AOL. An especially useful product is the MapQuest in-car facility, which provides maps, driving directions, and mileages for Web-enabled cell phones and Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs). 

Besides MapQuest for mileage, check out Google Maps, MSN Maps, Yahoo Maps, MultiMap, ViaMichelin, R24 Maps and Map24. Many other sites use maps from these providers, or encourage their use. For instance, Wikipedia provides a guide for integrating Map Quest maps into its pages.

Map Quest uses its own standard for geospatial data. There have been several attempts to introduce data exchange standards that haven't taken off, probably because of their complexity. One reason for XML's success is that it's simple, flexible and extensible. The geospatial world is still waiting for a standard that has the advantages of XML.

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) has tried to introduce standards but Map Quest and Microsoft (MSN), for example, have not signed up, and maintain their own ways of doing things. Each serve about 15 to 20 million maps a day via the Web; the volume of transactions is a small fraction of this.

The MapQuest for mileage and Microsoft for mileage services aren't as sophisticated as those of the OGC, but they address the needs for most everyday spatial transactions. Maybe as users become more demanding MapQuest and others will need to look more closely at the OGC.

If you are using MapQuest for mileage, try finding a version for your country. It may provide defaults and information not found in the generic copy. For instance, if you are based in the UK, try using MapQuest for Mileage in the UK and related UK sites. If you are uncertain which version to use, go to for information on the best version for you.

Assuming you are using generic Map Quest for mileage, then: (1) proceed to the homepage, (2) click on the DIRECTIONS icon, (3) if necessary, select your country (4) enter start and destinations address details.

Some good online sites complementing MapQuest for mileage information include: