Google Maps, my go to website for directions and maps, has now added “biking” for directions. Prior to this update you could only select car, public transit and walking for mode of travel. Google would then calculate the best route, distance and time dependent on your mode of transportation.
Quickly looking at my home town of Charlotte, NC, this morning, you can see a few different colored lines. The dark lines seem to be the bike paths or greenways in the area and the dotted lines are what I think to be bike friendly roads.
Anyone who has ever tried to bike across San Francisco knows the value of a good bike map in helping to avoid 200-foot hills and city streets that behave more like freeways. Google Maps users have created their own bike maps for cities like New York and Minneapolis, but Google itself hadn’t taken that step until now.
Google obtained much of its data from the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy in putting together the maps, and will have detailed information on bike routes in 150 U.S. cities as of Tuesday night’s launch, said Shannon Guymon, Google Maps product manager.
Bikers will be able to find bike-only paths, bike lanes on city streets, and bike-friendly streets when searching for directions using the tool. Google will also include an estimated travel time alongside the results that factor in hills and fatigue.
Source : CNet.com