Specifically as regards the Motel/Hotels section, I'm curious if there's any particular meaning to be found in the order in which the motels/hotels are listed: it's obviously not alphabetical, but in doing some spot checking I didn't get the impression that they were listed in any order of cost.
There is no meaning to be found in the order of the lodging options on our maps. We generally try to find the three hotel/motels located closest to the route paying attention to list "reasonably priced" options over higher end establishments. This is not a hard and fast rule. Whenever possible, we also take into consideration hotels/motels that have been recommended by cyclists and include them even if they are not necessarily nearest the route or seem like the "cheapest".
The choice of overnight accommodations is a highly personal one. Some people prefer certain chains over others regardless of price, sometimes location trumps price, for others certain features (hot tub, wi fi, ground floor rooms) are more important than price. And how would we account for discounts (AAA, AARP, etc.) given? Consider that every map section has 15 map panels with 2-3 cities and 6-9 hotel/motels, that's an average of 300 establishments to contact and get rate information, for one map section. We have over 80 map sections to keep updated. I feel overwhelmed just thinking about those numbers.
Thanks for the feedback and keep the ideas for improvements coming. Being so close to the maps we don't always see them. I'm just not sure the benefit outweighs the cost on this one.