Bicyclists will now be able to figure out the best route to take to work or on recreational rides using Google Maps in the United States. Google announced the addition of biking directions to the maps this morning, unveiling it at the National Bike Summit in Washington, D.C. Bicyclists will be able to get step-by-stepbike-specific route suggestions, similar to how users already were ableto choose whether they were driving, walking or taking public transit.
Bike trails are outlined on the map and a "bicycling" layer to the map shows:
StreetView is also available on the bicycling layer, so you can get the layof the land before you go there. Local Search also is available, so youcan plan out water or bathroom breaks and even determine where any bikeshops are along the route, should you get a flat or need other help. Googlesaid thousands of miles of trails have been added onto the maps: "Maybeyou’re planning a trip to Seattle and notice that the Burke-Gilmantrail goes right past your hotel and decide to do an afternoon biketour of the city, or maybe you notice a trail that will make your dailybike-to-work commute safer and more scenic."
Google partnered with the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy to provide information on bike trails in more than 150 cities.
The new feature is available directly at http://maps.google.com/biking and is in Beta. There's a reporting tool at the bottom of the maps where you can provide feedback or alertGoogle to other trails. It's only available right now on the desktopversion of Google Maps in the U.S., but a mobile version is in theworks.
This good to see especially in a city area. I have had two room mates during my life in the city who used either bikes or roller blades for there commute. I have also known others who did the same as friends. So this is very useful in that type of environment. There are also multiple benefits to it as well, such as personal fitness, reduced exhaust/carbon pollution, as well as they say psychological bonuses for being outside and active as well. With society in general moving more towards cities which is the current societal trend this is beneficial I would think in multiple ways.
They added walking directions? New to me. I'll have to try and find those; the last time I tried it was all driving.
"I didn't cry when Bambi's mother was shot... but I cried when HAL was turned off."
Can't wait for these trails to cross the Pond and come to Stockholm !...
They should work on getting their public transportation stuff working properly in the maps before adding biking options. Last time I tried using the public transportation option it suggested a route that costs 3x what the quickest one did and was actually 40 minutes longer.
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