How to Use Google Maps as a Multi Stop Web Route Planner
In 2020, Google Maps was used by a billion users per month. It’s the go-to free route planner and route mapping tool when it comes to planning personal trips, measuring the distance between two locations, and discovering new, exciting landmarks from one’s surroundings. It’s a great multi-stop route planner for personal use.
Although it has many benefits for both individual users and small mom-and-pop stores, there is one thing Google Maps can’t do – route optimization for commercial routing. And logistics-intense businesses need route optimization to cut costs, make more money, and save time.
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When to Use Google Maps as a Route Planner
The Google Maps route planner was created for helping individual users to:
- Get from point A to point B
- Discover new places
- Find local businesses
- Mapping a bike, jog, or walk route
- Planning personal trips
How to Optimize My Route Using Google Maps
Google Maps can be used for any type of routing as long as it doesn’t require route optimization: there is no such thing as a Google route optimization tool. When adding more than 2 stops to a Google Maps route, you have to manually change the sequence of stops to ensure you’ll navigate the shortest and fastest route.
When Not to Use Google Maps as a Route Planner
The Google Maps Route planner might not be what you’re looking for if you run a delivery business, courier service, field service operation, or any other logistic-intense company. Furthermore, if you need a multi-stop route planner that should be capable of routing more than 10 addresses, Google’s routing solution is not it.
When you need to plan routes as per your business needs and optimization constraints, Google Maps cannot help you.
You need to switch from the Maps route planner to a multi-stop routing software, route optimization software, or route planner when you wish to:
- Plan routes with hundreds of thousands of addresses in seconds
- Optimize your routes as per your type of fleet, customer variables, and business rules
- Make more money by visiting more customers in less time and with fewer resources
- Spend less on gas and payroll
- Analyze routing data and generate reports with logistics KPIs
- Enable delivery team communication and collaboration
For more detailed advantages and disadvantages comparison, we recommend comparing Google Maps with dedicated route planning software solutions. For example, Route4Me vs Google Maps or Google driving directions vs MapQuest, etc.
How to Plan a Multi-Stop Route on Google Maps
Although it requires planning your stop sequence ahead, you can plan a multi-stop route on Google Maps. You can add up to 10 stops to a Google Maps route. The downside to planning a Google Maps multi-stop route is that you can’t optimize it. In other words, to plan a cost-efficient Google Maps route you need to sequence your stops manually.
Here’s how to plan a multi-stop route in 6 easy steps:
1. Open the Google Maps Website & Click on the Directions Icon
Open your internet browser and go to Google Maps either by typing the web address manually in the address bar (https://www.google.com/maps/) or by simply searching for “Google Maps” on Google.
After opening the Google Maps website, click on the blue arrow button on the top left side of the screen.
2. Input the Start Address
The Google Maps web route planner allows you to type in an address, use your current location, or pick a point on the map as the starting point of your multiple stop route. To choose a start address right from the map, you need to right-click on the map and select the Directions from here option.
Alternatively, you can input addresses completely or partially and select one of the suggested options.
3. Add the Destination Address
Next, type in the address of your first destination or drop a pin on the map and use it as the first route stop.
4. Add Multiple Stops on Google Maps
After completing step 4, click on the circled plus button to begin adding your multiple stops. Repeat this process until you’ve managed to add all of your 10 delivery addresses. After adding each address, you will automatically get Google driving directions to it from the previous stop.
Move added stops to change the sequence and manually select the best address order for your route. You can change the order of the stops on your route by clicking on an address, dragging, and dropping it to the right place in the list.
5. Dispatch the Google Maps Route to Mobile – Send Route to Mobile
The final step of creating a multiple stop route with the Google Maps route planner is sharing the route with your drivers. To dispatch the Google Maps multiple stop route, click on the Send to your phone button at the top of the screen.
6. Navigate the Google Maps Route on Mobile
Route Planner vs Google Maps Web Route Planner
When planning a multi-stop route on a route planner or routing software, you will get considerably better outcomes than with Google Maps. The route distance and route duration will be significantly smaller on a route planned on a multi-stop route planner than on Google Maps.
Since you have to manually optimize Google Maps route planner multi-stop routes, the final routing result might not meet your expectations. Whereas the stop routes on a route planned and optimized on the Route4Me route planner will be automatically sequenced in the most cost-efficient and cost-effective way.
Below, you can see an example of Route4Me vs Google Maps driving directions for the same locations on the map. Additionally, you can try comparing Google Maps vs MapQuest driving directions or any other route planning or route optimization software.
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