Google Maps adds bicycling directions
March 09, 2010
A major win for bikes today!
Today, Google announced they have added bicycling directions to Google Maps. From what we've read, it sounds like they've done a great deal to make sure the site gives you a bicycle-friendly routes. This means Google will plot routes specifically for bikes: directing riders around big hills and busy intersections, rather than simply finding the shortest distance between two points.
As Production Manager Shannon Guymon posted on the Google Blog:
[W]e wanted to do it right: we wanted to include as much bike trail data as possible, provide efficient routes, allow riders to customize their trip, make use of bike lanes, calculate rider-friendly routes that avoid big hills and customize the look of the map for cycling to encourage folks to hop on their bikes. So that's exactly what we've done.
The Google team also added information about bike trails, lanes, and recommended roads directly to the map, thanks to a partnership with the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.
In all, this should prove to be a great tool for all bicyclists -- newcomers and veterans alike.
Remember, the biking directions feature is still in beta version, so if something seems amiss, be sure to use the "Report a Problem" tool.