All hail Google Maps!

Thanks to the newest Google Maps feature, I was able to determine just how long it would take to reroute through Death Valley.

GROVELAND, Calif.--I suppose I should read what my colleague Elinor Mills writes a little more closely.

If I had, I would already have known about a ridiculously useful new feature of Google Maps that lets you see a new route between two destinations simply by dragging an existing route line through another location.

A route from Groveland, Calif., to Las Vegas Google

Instead, I had to discover it on my own. But luckily I did, and things will never be the same.

Last night, I was sitting in my hotel room in this tiny mountain town near the western entrance to Yosemite National Park, feeling fortunate simply to have found an open Wi-Fi connection. After all, Groveland has a population of only 3,663--and that's for the entire zip code, which comprises more than just this hamlet.

I was looking at Google Maps, trying to determine the route from here to Las Vegas, which is my stop tonight on Road Trip 2007, my three-week journey through the Southwest, and I noticed that the suggested roads didn't take me through Death Valley, but rather just around it.

That was no good, I thought, to be so close to such a noteworthy location, and not go through it. But I have a lot of driving to do, and didn't have any idea how long it would take to reroute through Death Valley.

Then I noticed this little square on the Google Maps route. I'd never seen it before--since I hadn't noticed Mills' blog entry of June 28--and it was a wonderful surprise.

By using a new feature, you can simply select an alternate route. Google

Suddenly I was able to simply choose a route through Death Valley, and it told me, in a little box on the route, what the new driving time would be. Halelujah!

Technology. It never ceases to amaze me.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Don't Miss
Hot Products
Trending on CNET

HOT ON CNET

Looking for an affordable tablet?

CNET rounds up high-quality tablets that won't break your wallet.