A route is divided into one or more sections, each of which represents the part of the route between two consecutive waypoints. These can either be the origin, the destination, a via waypoint or an implicit change of mode like a ferry section in a driving route. If the route request contains no intermediate waypoints, a successful route response will usually contain one section.

By default, a section contains some basic information such as departure and arrival attributes. Additional attributes are optionally provided if the request specifies the return parameter.

Some example values for the return parameter are the following:

  • summary: output summary info (such as duration)
  • polyline: output a flexible polyline
  • spans: output more detailed properties of the section
  • actions: output the actions that must be performed for this section
  • turnByTurnActions: output actions with road information for turn-by-turn guidance

Breakdown of a Section

Section Breakdown
Figure 1. Section Breakdown

A section has a travel portion that describes driving, walking, or riding through the section. This portion starts from the sections departure until its arrival. There may be actions that need to be taken before or after the travel portion of the section, which are represented by pre- and post-action attributes (see Action).

Depending on the departureTime or arrivalTime, when the optional timezone offset is not specified, the requested time is converted to local time at origin or destination respectively. For more information, see the API Reference.

Spans and the polyline only cover the travel portion of the section:

  • return=summary includes summary information for the entire section including any pre- and post-actions.
  • return=travelSummary provides summary information for only the travel portion of the section.

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