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Google Maps Now has Biking

by Bike Shop Girl

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.

Google MapsBike

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

Learn more at http://maps.google.com/biking and Google Maps “Bike There.”

 
Burley nomad 229

10 Responses to “Google Maps Now has Biking”

  1. Marc says:

    Eh, it’s a start – I’ll be interested to see how this turns out once it gets out of beta testing.

    I put in my commute and it had me going down Reading Road… the SCARIEST road I’ve ever biked down in Cincinnati. Lots of cars, no bike lanes, and it goes through some scary neighborhoods. I remember the last time I rode that way I almost got hit.

    So for the nonce, I’ve got some alternate roads I prefer to take instead. But I like the idea nonetheless!

  2. John Gordon says:

    Now we need to work on a map for which bicycle trails are suited for inline skating as well.

  3. The Opoponax says:

    Any idea on how accurate/good the routes are, yet?

    I just put a couple of my most common destinations in and got a WILDLY different route for one of them, which I would never have thought to take. Doesn’t look like a bad route, per se, and google maps times it at 20 minutes (which is actually quicker than my usual time to the same destination). So I’m not sure whether I just discovered a major shortcut or the system is merely flawed.

  4. Opoponax -

    When I get back into town Saturday I’ll be trying different routes. It seems to have to do with where you are, how well your local area is documented for cyclist.

  5. BluesCat says:

    Phoenix seems to have a pretty good presence in this new feature. I put my home address in “A”, my work address in “B” and it found three routes: My current, favorite route; my old, alternate route; and a new route I thought of trying one time but haven’t had the chance.

    Pretty slick.

  6. glad google is looking out for us bike riders :)

  7. Johnny says:

    Wow… and it’s good. Doesn’t pick my perfect route, but definitely gets close. Nicely done Google.

  8. Ringer says:

    Hmmm…doesn’t seem to recognize the bike/pedestrian path in our area. That’s kind of a bummer. I’m not in a major metropolitan area, so maybe Google doesn’t know about the non-road routes around here. We’ll see if they develop that better.

    It is an encouraging sign, though.

  9. James says:

    I think its awful. I asked for my my typical 16 mile commute and the directions it gave me kept me on residential neighborhood sidestreets and increased my distance by almost 3 miles. I’ll pick my own route, thank you.

  10. Allie says:

    It’s a great start! I think it’ll get better with time. You never can fully trust Google Maps…

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