Google Maps has quietly added a sweet new feature which has greatly improved its "get directions" function. You can now easily alter the route it's planned for you with a simple drag and drop - which is great if you can see that it hasn't generated the optimal route for you. I discovered this by accident yesterday when I was planning my trip across town from St Kilda to the RRR studios at Nicholson St, Brunswick East. Google Maps plotted a route straight through the city for me, which seemed crazy at peak hour. To change the route, all I had to do was put the cursor over the blue line which shows the route, and drag it to where I'd prefer to drive - in this case, via Punt Road to skirt the city centre. You can click on certain sections of the route to change it on a point to point basis, handy for planning a trip with multiple stops. Google put up a little video tutorial which you can see here. Looks like the ability to check the traffic conditions isn't available in Australia yet though.