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Make a right turn after Mickey Dees

April 16, 2018.

Google Maps.

Google Maps. © Google.

When giving directions, we often use landmark buildings and businesses: “You’ll be taking a left after the pharmacy,” “Take a right just after McDonalds,” “Once you get to the church, stick to the left,” etc. Google Maps has decided to test this way of doing things and users have been surprised by messages like “Turn right after the Burger King,” instead of the usual, “In 100 metres, turn right.” It’s definitely more natural and personal and seems like it would be more efficient; instead of calculating distances, you just wait for a visual landmark that’s really hard to miss. Some people have wondered if this is covert advertising paid for by fast food chains, but that’s not it, it’s just that there are so many of these kind of restaurants on North American roads. For now, it seems like only a small segment of Google Map users around New York City will be able to use it. Google has confirmed that it’s being tested.

Engadget, “Google Maps uses landmarks to provide natural-sounding directions.”