A Mapping App That Searches Along Your Route To Plan Exciting (Or Efficient) Trips

The tool smartly suggests stops along a route–not just at a destination–so you can plan errands or road trips better.

A Mapping App That Searches Along Your Route To Plan Exciting (Or Efficient) Trips
[Photo: Sevenke via Shutterstock]

With so many geolocation and mapping apps packed onto our mobile devices, it’s always bothered me that there’s no easy way to find a place I’d like to stop while I’m on my way to someplace else.


Say I use Google Maps to give me driving directions from New York City to Boston. Since I want to use my time efficiently, I know I’d like to make the quickest stop possible at my bank along my route, minimizing the distance I am put out of my way. Google Maps or Yelp or any number of apps can suggest branches of my bank that are nearest to my current location, and they can suggest branches that are nearest to any particular town or destination I input, but neither are smart enough to suggest convenient branches for me to stop as mapped along my entire route.

This is what’s cool about the Alongways web app. It searches from “point A to point B and everything in between.”

You type in your starting point and your destination, and where you’d like to stop along the way. It’ll map locations along your route. You could search for general terms, like “parks” or “bank,” or specific terms like Whole Foods or Amalgamated Bank. Alongways uses a wider search radius for longer routes, so it might show you results further out of your way on a several-hour car trip than if you were just driving from work to home.

Its creators envision Alongways will be useful on road trip vacations. Example questions it aims to answer: “Is there a pet friendly hotel between Albuquerque and Aspen?” and “Is there a good place for deep dish pizza between St. Louis and Raleigh?” (To the latter question, it turns up 12 results. Unfortunately all appear to be Little Caesers locations.)

The Alongways app uses Google Maps API and the Google Places library for results. It’s in a early testing phase for now, and eventually a mobile app is planned. There are some other apps that include similar functions related to planning road trips, such as RoadTrippers, but its interface appears more geared towards vacation planning than general day-to-day use.

[h/t Google Maps Mania]

About the author

Jessica Leber is a staff editor and writer for Fast Company's Co.Exist. Previously, she was a business reporter for MIT’s Technology Review and an environmental reporter at ClimateWire.