Directions in Map Maker                                                
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by The Google Map Makerpedia team

In Short

Learn about how to add and edit directions in Google Map Maker.


Google provides a set of tools with which you can create your own maps: Google Maps and Google Map Maker. Google Map Maker allows users to create and modify directions.

Getting and Editing Directions

You can get directions to and from locations in Map Maker. You'll notice that this looks like a simpler version of the directions feature on However, there's one distinct feature -- at every turn displayed in the directions, you can edit 'turn restrictions'.
Turn restrictions allow you to indicate if the turn from one road on to another (or a U-turn) is allowed or not. As you can imagine, this is crucial information when creating driving directions.

Driving Directions from Point A (Kasempa) to Point B (Kaoma) in Zambia on Google Map Maker.

Depending on our location, you can get directions from one location to another. To do this, do one of the following:
  • In the search field, enter a from-to statement (example:from New York to San Francisco) and click Search Maps.
  • Click Get directions, enter a starting and ending location and click Get Directions.

Directions appear on the maps as a blue line. Google Maps breaks down directions into numbered sections in the left panel, along with an estimated drive time. You can click on any section number to display a info window with map detail. You can collapse or expand this view by clicking - or +.

Want directions, but prefer to skip major highways? Check Avoid highways at the top of the left panel. To reverse directions, click the appropriate link at the top of the left panel. To change the starting or ending locations of the directions, click Edit beside the location. Change the distance units for these directions, click km (kilometers) or miles. Where available, highway exit numbers are marked with an appropriate icon. Example:

How To Improve Directions

The first step is simple: use the Get Directions boxes to get directions between two places, just like you would using If the directions look good, that's great. If the directions are not quite accurate, you can use Map Maker to correct them.

Here are some issues you might notice in your driving directions, and how you can correct them:
  • Directions have a turn which is not allowed:

Click on the Edit link in the left hand panel for the direction that you want to change, and select Edit turn restrictions:

  1. Mouse-over or click a road icon (A,B, or C, for example) to see the turn restrictions for that road.
  2. Turns that are allowed are indicated with a green direction icons; turns that are not allowed are indicated with red direction icons.
  3. Click on a direction icon (green or red) to toggle whether the turn is allowed.
  • Directions are not showing road names:

This happens when the road itself is not named. To fix this, name the road or add landmarks to help users visually:

  1. If you know the name of the road, zoom into that road, right click on the road icon, then select the road to be named and edit it. Add the name at the top of the info-window that pops up and click save.
  2. f you don't know the road name, or its not a well-known name, see if you can find a good landmark near the intersection of the turn and add that place (use the toolbar at the top-left of the map). If the landmark is really popular, select the appropriate 'popularity' in the 'attributes' tab of the detailed edit view.
  • Directions are using local rather than major roads:

There could be several reasons for this. Look carefully at the sections of the major roads that directions should have used and verify / edit the following to fix this issue:

  1. Do the major roads have the right priority? You can tell the priority visually by looking at the color of the road, but you should verify sections of the road that the directions seem to be skipping. Note: Do not change priority of local roads to arterials (main roads) just because it's the path you prefer.
  2. Do the major road sections have the right speeds? If someone has mistakenly reduced the maximum or average speed on these sections, please fix this. To do so, right click on that section of the road and click find near, select the road section and use 'more info' to examine the speeds. If the speeds are incorrect, please edit and fix them.
  3. Other attributes: Also examine and cleanup other attributes of the major roads like 'surface', 'number of lanes', 'construction' and 'road condition.' These will influence whether this road is used in directions or not.
  4. Are the two sections of road where a turn should take place well connected? To check, zoom in and look closely. Then, right click on the map and select Find near this point to locate the intersection at which the turn should take place and verify that the intersection is connected to the appropriate roads. If they are not connected, please reconnect them, either by removing the segment that's not connected and redrawing it, or by using the Select a segment tool:
  • Directions are going the wrong way on a one-way street:

This is probably because the road is missing a one-way marker. Right click on the road section that should be one-way, select the section, edit it and mark it as one-way in the appropriate direction.

  • Directions are using part of a road with poor driving conditions:

If your directions are using roads that, while accessible, aren't ideal for driving, edit the sections of the road in question and mark them as 'dirt' and/or reduce the number of lanes and the speed.

  • Directions are using an inaccessible road through a gated community or private campus:

Change the priority of such roads to 'terminal' and these roads will only be used when people are going to places inside the campus or community.

  • Directions onto or exits off highways look awkward:

This happens ramps or off-ramps are incorrectly marked. 'On-ramps' are roads that connect a road to a highway. 'Off-ramps' are roads that connect from a highway to another road. The attributes of such road sections need to be marked as either 'On-ramps' or 'Off-ramps.'

  • Directions at a roundabout or traffic circle are awkward:

When you come across a roundabout (aka circle) and the directions don't say "Take Nth exit at circle," this means the road sections that form the roundabout/ circle have not been categorized correctly. To fix this, select 'Roundabout' from the drop down menu under 'Segment usage' for all the road sections in the roundabout/ circle.

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