Torontoist has seen its fair share of Google Maps mashups. For geography nerds like us, maps are always fun to play around with, but most of the mashups we’ve seen so far have not been particularly useful. That is, unless you’re dying to know where they keep all the Timmy’s or bust all the grow-ops.
Enter Taxiwiz. The site is far from slick, but the idea behind it is great. Taxiwiz takes Google’s driving direction functionality and plots that against the standard taxi tariff schedule, making it easy to estimate how much a taxi ride anywhere in the city will cost. Finally, an easy way to settle a debate about whether it’s cheaper for a group of friends to take the TTC or call a taxi when heading out for a night on the town.
Here are a few of the estimates Taxiwiz provides. Based on our experiences, they’re not far off:
• From Union Station to Toronto Pearson Airport: $55.74
• From City Hall to the CN Tower: $6.45
• From U of T (Harbord & St. George) to The Drake (1150 Queen West): $13.33
The main reason we haven’t seen this kind of application until now is that driving directions were only added to the Google Maps API in May of this year, but now that they’re in there, we hope to see a lot of new mashups that make use of this functionality.
Of course, the coolest thing happening with Google Maps today is the ability to change driving directions by dragging and clicking your desired route. No word on when Google will add this to the API so that it becomes mash-able, but when they do, that will be totally sweet. Then you’ll finally be able to figure out for yourself which taxi route is the cheapest. Exciting times, indeed.
Photo by PDPhotography from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.