Northwest Travel Planning
Interactive Maps

There are a number of services on the web that provide free interactive maps. These services produce maps based on your search. You can do such things as: search for an address or place, such as a landmark; "zoom" out to see your destination in the context of the North American continent; or get driving directions between destinations. You can then print out your results. They are a useful aid for travel planning, especially where they offer street maps.

Map Service

Mapblast!

Maps

Directions / Route Planners

Coverage Canada, USA and beyond. Coverage USA only. Cannot get directions that will take you across the border.
Levels of Detail Both countries: ranges from the north American continent to street level. Street names and feature such as parks identified.
No detail for areas such as national parks.
Destination Types Street addresses, towns, landmarks, national parks and regions.
Search US: searchable by street name and town name.
Canada: searchable by town name only.
Can't search for place names such as Mount Rainier.
Route Types Choose fastest or shortest routes, and you can ask it either to avoid or favor major highways.
Navigation Zoom: choice of ten levels.
Pan by using compass points.
Clicking on map: recenters.
Results Written driving directions, step-by-step maps, with a map showing origin and destination points.
Results Buttons for emailing, printing, and linking to map results. Other Features Allows intermediate destination.
Other Features MapBlast! also provides lodging information, reservation capabilities, traffic reports and local points of interest.        

Map Service

Mapquest

Maps

Directions / Route Planners

Coverage Canada, USA and beyond. Coverage Canada and USA.  Can get directions that will take you across the border.
Levels of Detail USA: ranges from the north American continent to street level.  Street names and feature such as parks identified.
Canada: not always to street level.
Destination Types USA: street addresses and towns.
Canada: towns.
Search US: searchable by street name and town name.
Canada: searchable by town name only.
Route Types Choose fastest or shortest routes, and you can ask it either to avoid or favor major highways.
Navigation Zoom: four of ten available zoom levels are identified as national, region, city and street.
Pan by using compass points.
Clicking on map: recenters.
Results Written driving directions, turn-by-turn maps, with a map showing origin and destination points.
Results Buttons to save in "mymapquest", print, email, download or link to results. Other Features Allows intermediate destination.
Other Features Has nice looking maps for scenic drives in Oregon and Washington.        

Map Service

Maps On Us

Maps

Directions / Route Planners

Coverage USA only. Coverage USA only.
Levels of Detail Ranges from the north American continent to street level.  Street names and feature such as parks identified.
No detail for areas such as national parks.
Destination Types Both long distance (town to town) and local (address to address) directions.
Search Can't search for place names such as Mount Rainier. Route Types Choose fastest or shortest routes, and you can ask it either to avoid or favor major highways.
Navigation Zoom: four of seventeen zoom levels are available at any one time.
Pan: a choice to pan across the map by a full or half screen.
Clicking on the map allows you to pan and zoom in one level at the same time.
Results Written turn-by-turn directions with detailed maps.
Results Buttons for emailing and linking to map results. Other Features Allows intermediate destination.
Other Features Colors are nice and clear.          

Map Service

Maptech

Maps

Directions / Route Planners

Coverage USA only. Not available
Levels of Detail Terrific level of detail, such as you would expect on a topographical map.  Named features include towns, mountains, waterways, and waterfalls.

Comments

This interactive map service is provided as a way to entice users to purchase the company's other digital and paper products.

They provide two types of free interactive maps: topographical maps and nautical charts.

Search Searchable by city name and state only.
Unfortunately no search on other features such as Mount Rainier, so choose a nearby town.
Navigation Zoom: two levels (or scales) available
Pan: by using compass points or clicking on map.
Results Buttons to bookmark, print, or email results.

Map Service

TopoZone

Maps

Directions / Route Planners

Coverage USA only. Not available
Levels of Detail Terrific level of detail, such as you would expect on a topographical map.  Named features include towns, mountains, glaciers, waterways, and waterfalls.

Comments

This interactive map service is provided by Maps a la carte using USG data.

They provide free interactive topographical maps. It seems to be an easy site to use.

Search Searchable by city name and other places such as "Mount Baker".
Navigation Zoom: four levels (or scales) available
Pan: by using arrows or clicking on map.
Results They are happy for you to print, or email results, but you will need to use your browser menus to do so.

Other interactive atlases are:

National Atlas of the United States of America
Create maps of the country's natural and socio-cultural landscapes. From the U.S. Geological Survey and its partners. Can locate cities, but does not have street maps.

TerraServer
This service uses a combination of sources to create images of places of your choosing. Depending on where the Terraserver has information you can retrieve: colored relief maps, USGS digitized topographical maps (known as digital raster graphics, in color),  USGS ortho photos (black and white georectified digitized aerial photographs, known as digital orthophotoquads), SPIN-2 web maps (black and white "overhead imagery", that is satellite images and aerial photos). Covers the U.S. only.

US Census Bureau TIGER Mapping service
Does have street maps.

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