A few years ago I did a comparison of the results from online trip planners. Here’s an update of sorts.
I tested 247 Flinders Lane (which is an address on a one-way street, in an area with lots of turn restrictions and pedestrian streets) to see what the various navigators would do. For the destination I just put Bentleigh (my neighbourhood).
Yahoo Maps couldn’t give me an answer, reporting that “Driving directions cannot be determined between these locations”. I tried giving it a specific destination, but it wouldn’t do it.
1. Head west on Flinders Ln towards Flinders Way 0.1 km
2. Turn right at Elizabeth St 0.1 km
3. Take the 1st right on to Collins St 0.5 km
4. Turn right at Russell St 0.2 km
5. Turn right at Flinders St 0.2 km
6. Take the 1st left on to St Kilda Rd 4.6 km
7. Turn left at Fitzroy St 77 m
8. Turn right at St Kilda Rd 1.3 km
9. Continue onto Brighton Rd 1.9 km
10. Continue onto Nepean Hwy 4.1 km
11. Slight left at Centre Rd 1.5 km
Google decided that just entering the suburb for the destination would go to the post office.
The directions are pretty good, but St Kilda Junction confused it; you don’t (you can’t) turn at Fitzroy Street when headed southbound; you turn briefly onto Punt Road, which then leads you onto St Kilda Road.
1. Continue on Flinders La, Melbourne – head towards Degraves St
2. Turn left onto Degraves St, Melbourne at Punt Hill
3. Turn left onto Flinders St, Melbourne
4. Turn right onto Swanston St, Melbourne at Young & Jackson Hotel
5. Continue along St Kilda Rd, Melbourne at Arintji Cafe & Bar
6. Veer right onto Punt Rd, St Kilda
7. Continue along St Kilda Rd, St Kilda
8. Continue along Brighton Rd, St Kilda
9. Continue along Nepean Hwy, Elsternwick at McDonalds
10. Veer left onto Ramp, Brighton East
11. Continue along Brewer Rd, Brighton East
12. At the roundabout – take the 2nd exit onto Brewer Rd, Bentleigh
13. Arrive at Brewer Rd, Bentleigh
Curiously it’s led me to somewhere well outside the logical centre of Bentleigh, though it might be the geographic centre of the suburb.
It figured out St Kilda Junction, but got the initial directions completely wrong, directing me to turn into Degraves Street, which is mostly closed to traffic, and then to do an illegal right hand turn from Flinders St into Swanston St. I kinda like the use of landmarks for directions though.
1. Depart -37.81673, 144.96600 on Flinders Ln (West)
2. Turn LEFT (South) onto King St (0.1 km)
3. Road name changes to Kings Way (2.3 km)
4. Bear RIGHT (South) onto Queens Rd (2.0 km)
5. Turn LEFT (East) onto Union St (0.4 km)
6. Turn RIGHT (South) onto Punt Rd (0.3 km)
7. Keep STRAIGHT onto St Kilda Rd (1.3 km)
8. Road name changes to Brighton Rd (1.9 km)
9. Keep LEFT onto Nepean Hwy (4.1 km)
10. Keep LEFT onto Centre Rd (1.5 km)
11. Turn RIGHT (South) onto Loranne St (0.0 km)
12. Arrive -37.91806, 145.03544 (0.0 km)
This one has also led me to the post office. Unlike the others it preferred Kingsway to St Kilda Road, but I can’t see any flaws with its logic, though it did decide I should go all the way along Union Street to Punt Road — that may well be faster than turning off Union Street at St Kilda Road.
And for non-drivers, how about Metlink’s journey planner?
From 247 Flinders Lane (Melbourne City)
Walk about 220 metres to Flinders Street Railway Station (Melbourne City)
1. Continue along Royston Pl 20 m about 1 min
2. Turn right at Flinders Lane 80 m about 2 min
3. Turn right at Swanston St 120 m about 2 min
4. Continue along St Kilda Rd 10 m about 1 min
5. Arr: 10:08 am To Flinders Street Railway Station (Melbourne City) 210 m 4 min
DEP: 10:08 am Flinders Street Railway Station (Melbourne City) Platform 8
Take the train towards Frankston — Time 21 min
ARR: 10:29 am
Get off at Bentleigh Railway Station (Bentleigh) Platform 2
DEP: From Stop Bentleigh Railway Station (Bentleigh)
Walk about 50 metres Time 7 min
10:36 am To Bentleigh (Bentleigh)
Metlink decided “Bentleigh” meant a street next to the railway station. Not sure why.
The instructions to walk to the station assume that Royston Place is a thoroughfare; It’s a deadend; you can’t get to Flinders Street station that way. Update: Ah, it assumed I was starting in Royston Place, not walking through it. Not sure why it would do that though. And it didn’t send me via the quickest pedestrian route, which is the Degraves Street subway.
But the train trip itself is correct.
Unknown why it thinks it’ll take 7 minutes to walk 50 metres at the end of the trip. Maybe it’s adding a bit in case the train is late, or you have to wait for a train at the level crossing.
So, Bing gave the best result. All the others appear to need some attention.