Tip #111 – How to Route Your Deliveries with Map Quest


Tip #111
How to Route Your Deliveries with MapQuest

Again, before I start, I want to thank David Watson of Flowerama in Las Cruces, NM for making me aware of this new service from MapQuest.

On the previous post, we left off here…

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where flowerSoft was giving you the option to map your deliveries with Google Maps or MapQuest.  Since most of you know how to do it with Google Maps (If you don’t see post #068), let’s see what happens when we select M – MapQuest.

As soon as you press M, flowerSoft will launch Wordpad and display a document containing all the recipient addresses for the invoices shown in the route & receipt form.
The first and last address is your shop’s address.

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When this document is displayed, you must do 3 things in succession, first you must hit Ctrl + A to select all the addresses in the document.
When you hit Ctrl + A all the words in the document will get a blue background to indicate they have all been selected.

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After hitting Ctrl + A to select all the words in the document, you must hit Ctrl + C to copy all the words selected into the WIndows clipboard.
Nothing will happen to indicate that you have hit Ctrl + C to copy the selected text, so make sure of it.
Next, you must exit the document.  You can do this by hitting Alt + F4 to exit WordPad

Now, I try to avoid reaching for a mouse whenever possible but if you are more comfortable clicking on something to achieve the steps enumerated above, you can do the following…

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So remember the order of the steps…

  1. Select all text (Ctrl + A)
  2. Copy text selected (Ctrl + C)
  3. Exit WordPad document (Alt + F4)

After you exit the document, you will go back to flowerSoft and see the following on the screen…

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So now hit M to go into MapQuest.
Note, hitting any other key but M will not take you into MapQuest.

Let’s see what happens when we hit M

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This is the screen that will display as soon as the hit M, now you are in MapQuest’s site.
The first thing you must do is click on the Copy & Paste tab.

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Once you click on the tab, MapQuest will display the following screen…

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Click inside the text box and then either press Ctrl + V to paste all the text you selected before or if you like to use the mouse, you can right-click inside the text box and then click on “Paste”

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Once you have either hit Ctrl + V or used the mouse as shown above, all your copied text will appear in the box.
Then you have to click on the “Get Directions” button.

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Once you click on the “Get Directions” button, MapQuest will attempt top route all your deliveries…

If MapQuest finds a better delivery address or addresses that the one you entered, it will display the following…

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Click on the address that you think best matches the recipient’s address.

You will also notice that some of the addresses may have warning icons next to them…

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That means that MapQuest thinks it has a better address for those items than the one you entered.
Click on the warning icon and MapQuest will display what it thinks to be a better address.

I have noticed that basically you have to accept what MapQuest thinks is a better address as it will not let you continue until you accept it.

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So go ahead and accept all of MapQuest’s suggestions and then click on the “Get Directions” button again.

This time MapQuest will display a map with all your delivery stops…

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You will notice that after the last address on the list, which is your shop’s address there are a few options you can select by clicking on them.
One of them is to make the trip a “round trip”.  There is no need to select this option as flowerSoft is already making your shop’s address the first and last entries on the list.

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The other option you might want to use is to let MapQuest re-arrange the stops on your list.

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If you compare the stops on this map with the previous one, you will notice that some of the stops have changed because we allowed MapQuest to re-order the stops.

Note that if you select that option, the changes to the order of the stops will not be carried over to the printed route & reciept form you got from flowerSoft, even if you re-print it.

You can increase the magnification on the map by clicking on it and rotating the mouse wheel.

You can also move the stops manually by clicking on them and dragging them to the location you want.

So there it is, getting your delivery stops routed by MapQuest.  It involves a little more work that doing it with Google Maps but it might be worth it.

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