In addition, an additional plus could be considered the possibility of download maps to our computer so that we can consult them at any time without having to have an Internet connection.
Maps to consult and plot routes
Next, we are going to see which are the best map applications that will help us create and draw routes from our computer.
Windows Maps, allows you to download offline maps
Microsoft introduced in both Windows 10 and Windows 11 its own default Maps app. Through it, we will be able to carry out search for specific places, as well as create routes, view maps in different ways, etc. We can travel the world virtually with aerial images and 360-degree views at street level. It is possible to download the maps that we can use from the application without having to have an Internet connection available.
With this application we are going to get route directions by car, on foot and by public transport, including routes by car and on foot. It is possible to choose alternative routes to avoid traffic, tolls or variations that can arise in the directions of a route by car or public transport. Additionally, notes, drawings, and annotations can be added to the road map view with Windows Ink.
If we do not have the Windows Maps application, we can download it for free from the Microsoft Store.
Google Maps, the most popular option
We are possibly talking about one of the most complete platforms that we can find to consult maps of any part of the world. Through its maps, Google allows us to trace routes to use a navigation system with which it is possible to get from one point to another. Given its breadth, we can also use it to find all kinds of businesses anywhere in the world. In addition, it also has the possibility of downloading offline maps.
Its main disadvantage is that not all users are satisfied with its use, since it raises many questions about data protection, since Google collects absolutely everything we look for in our maps, as well as the criticism it receives about the manipulation of cartographic material to its use for commercial purposes.
Using Google Maps is free and to access it from our PC it is only necessary to have a web browser and access its website.
Apple Maps, it is possible to use from Windows
The Cupertino company also has its own Maps application, a simple and direct browser, from which it is possible to trace routes between one point and another, regardless of distance. It also has very detailed data such as traffic lights, pedestrian crossings, bus stops, among others. all of it with 3D details that will help us to know the height, shopping areas, bridges, etc.
As we can imagine, this application is only available for Apple devices (Mac, iPhone, iPad, etc). However, it is possible to use it from our Windows computer, through the DuckDuckGo web browser. This is possible because the developers of this search portal use Apple’s MapKit JS to offer Apple Maps on their website.
To do this, we must visit the DuckDuckGo search engine and write the location that we want to see on the map through the search engine box. Subsequently, we click on the Maps section that will be located in the upper right part of the search. In this way we will be using the Apple Maps online platform directly in the browser.
OpenStreetMap, the free and open source option
It is considered as the world’s largest free map platform and clear alternative to Google Maps. It is another great option to consult maps and create routes, since it is a non-profit web application, created by a large community of users using geographic information captured with mobile GPS devices, orthophotographs and other free sources. All this created under an open license that allows us to use the data in exchange for giving recognition to the organization.
We can use this application to view a road map, a hiking map, bike path maps, nautical maps, ski resort maps, among others. It can also be used to calculate the best routes for both vehicles and pedestrians. Its data may not be as complete as other options on the market, but it may be of interest to us if we seek to distance ourselves from the large companies.
We can access OpenStreetMap for free and make use of all its maps and cartography, for which we will only need a web browser and an Internet connection.
Waze, to know all the details in real time
Although it is a web application that is currently owned by Google, this platform is used as a social navigation system. This is due to the fact that it is the users themselves who are in charge of any type of problem or mishap that we could encounter during our journey, such as the presence of radars or accidents. It is therefore a great option for planning routes in real time since its user community actively collaborates on the platform, which allows us to obtain very useful information for driving safely.
The service offers us traffic information in real time, allows us to connect with friends and upload relevant information in order to help and inform other users. However, as is the case with Google Maps, many users may be skeptical about its use because it has the same data protection policy.
If we want to use Waze from our computer, all we have to do is have a web browser and an Internet connection. In addition, it has an application for Android and iOS mobile devices.
Here WeGo, one of the most complete options
We are talking about other of the most complete navigation applications that we can find. Have support for more than 100 countries and more than 1300 cities. From it, we will be able to establish routes between two points that will be shown in detail so that we know how to handle ourselves correctly even in the most complex places. It also shows us all kinds of information, such as the presence of public transport, taxi stands, bus delays and even finding a place to park.
Another of its advantages is that we can see the state of the traffic and it shows us different perspectives of the map, whether in Classic, Satellite or Terrain mode. In addition, it allows us to collect and save our favorite places and those we want to remember to consult them later.
To use Here WeGo for free, simply access its official website.
Which is the best option?
As we have been able to verify, we have a good number of maps that we can consult to establish our routes when traveling. All of them can be used for free, so it doesn’t hurt to get to know them and try them out to see which one best suits what we’re looking for. Among them, Google Maps it is the most popular and possibly the one with the most maps and features available.
However, the application of windows maps It can be extremely interesting for us because we will have the possibility of downloading maps by region, so that we can consult them offline without having to have an Internet connection. In case we are concerned about any mishap that may arise during the journey, the option of Waze It is extremely useful to know possible restrictions due to accident or the presence of radars.