Back in 1995, Alt and Godau gave an efficient algorithm for deciding whether a given curve resembles some part of a larger curve under a fixed Fréchet distance, achieving a running time of O(nm log(nm)), for n and m being the number of segments in the two curves, respectively. We improve this long-standing result by presenting an algorithm that solves this decision problem in O(nm) time. Our solution is based on constructing a simple data structure which we call free-space map. Using this data structure, we obtain improved algorithms for several variants of the Fréchet distance problem, including the Fréchet distance between two closed curves, and the so-called minimum/maximum walk problems. We also improve the map matching algorithm of Alt et al. for the case when the map is a directed acyclic graph.