Thursday, March 11, 2010

Google Maps Gets Biking Directions

Google Maps has added a new option to its Google Maps service where users would be able to get details regarding bicycle directions and routes.
Google Maps already supported public-transit, walking directions and automobile driving directions, and with the bicycling community calling for Google to add bike routes for quite some time, it was inevitable that Google had to come up with this. Pertinent to note is that this service is extremely limited in nature and currently encompasses only over 150 cities across the US.

Google has added information about bike trails, lanes and recommended roads directly onto the map. This can help the user get a better sense of their route, or let the user find trails nearby for a recreational ride. The Maps also has a "Bicycling layer where the user will see three types of lines appear on the map:

  • Dark green indicates a dedicated bike-only trail;
  • Light green indicates a dedicated bike lane along a road;
  • Dashed green indicates roads that are designated as preferred for bicycling, but without dedicated lanes.

The routing suggested for cyclists is designed to avoid freeways and high-traffic areas, and to select gentler terrain by routing around hills. To make it even more useful for riders on the go, Google expects to have a mobile version available in the near future, as well. Get more information here


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