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Fast Food Maps

Friday, May 4th, 2007 by | Filed Under: Using The Internet
 
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Q:
Do you know anything about a Web site called Fast Food Maps? I saw it the other day, but I don’t know anything about it. It seems interesting, so if you know anything, please share!

A:
Ha, this is perfect! This question goes along so well with the Q&A tip we had in last Friday’s newsletter about planning your summer vacations. In that tip, I talked about all the online sites you can use as sources to book your flights, hotels, rental cars and so on, along with some you could access to get driving directions, etc. Now, if you’re not quite sure how that topic and today’s question go along with each other, allow me to explain!

As mentioned above, Fast Food Maps is another brand new service to come from Google. It works along with Google Maps to track down all of the fast food restaurants located in the United States. So far, this site only plots out the locations of 10 popular restaurant chains, but it’ll be no surprise if it happens to grow in the years to come. Those 10 chains are McDonald’s, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Wendy’s, KFC, Jack in the Box, Hardee’s, Carl’s Jr. and In-N-Out Burger.

Now, I have never even heard of a few of those restaurants (Carl’s Jr., for example), let alone knowing they are so popular, but I guess you learn something new everyday! So, as you might have guessed, this site is perfect for the times you’re traveling by car (hence the connection to Friday’s tip). When you’re driving for an extended period of time, it’s nice to know where all the quick restaurants are and Fast Food Maps is the perfect solution.

To check it out for yourself, navigate to this Web site. On the right hand side, you’ll see all the fast food chains listed with the number of locations in a certain city beside it. For example, in Nashville, Tennessee, there are 15 McDonald’s restaurants, seven KFCs and three Hardee’s Burgers. Cool, huh?! Each restaurant is color coded (McDonald’s is yellow, etc.) and if you don’t want the map to point out certain places, you can just uncheck them.

At the very top, there’s two pull down menus you can use to select a state and city. So, if you’re going to be going through Houston, Texas on the way to your destination, you might want to check out where a Taco Bell is nearby. Once you select the city and state you want to view, a new map will appear on your screen and you can just use your mouse to navigate through it. It will show you where all the restaurants are and you can even use the regular map behind it to see where you’re at road wise.

If you want to check out all of the cities and states you’ll be traveling through, just choose your next selection and a Fast Food Map will come right up. You can write down all the information you need or even print out each map if you’d like. You can also zoom in and out to certain parts of the map if you need to see a certain spot more up close. It’s really quite genius!

Here’s an example of Nashville, Tennessee, because that’s where I’m going to be traveling this summer:

This is definitely a must see for any traveler. Check it out today!

~ Erin

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