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How to Get Driving Directions and More from Google Maps


by Marziah Karch

Updated February 24, 2016


Getting Started

Google Maps provides excellent directions with a lot of hidden features. Not only can you get driving directions, you can get walking and public transport directions. You can find ratings and Zagat information for restaurants, and you can find the elevation you’d need to climb and route you’d need to pedal in order to bike there.

This tutorial assumes you’re using the desktop version of Google Maps. You can get directions from your mobile phone, but the interface is slightly different. The concepts are the same, so this tutorial may still be useful.

To get started, go to maps.google.com and click on Search Google Maps on the upper right-hand corner. You should then click on the blue directions symbol to get directions.

You may also Set your default location. This is an optional step in your preferences to set the place you’re most likely to need driving directions from. In most cases that’s your house or your workplace. If you click on the link and set your default location, that saves you a step the next time you get driving directions. That’s because Google will automatically add your default location to your starting location.   Continue reading