In-Traffic Driving Time Estimate Removed from Google Maps

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News Posted: Sun, Jul 17 2011 11:27 PM
If you've used Google Maps and used the time estimates it gives to help you figure out how long it will take you to get someplace, you might have found that feature useful. Half of the information has been removed, however: the esimate that Google Maps used to give for "in traffic" situations.

Search Engine Roundtable was among the first to notice the change. Or rather, they appear to be the first site to have noticed it, as users noticed the change, and asked Google what was up. Google's response:
We have decided that our information systems behind this feature were not as good as they could be. Therefore, we have taken this offline and are currently working to come up with a better, more accurate solution. We are always working to bring you the best Google Maps experience with updates like these!
The good thing is that despite the fact that they have removed a feature that we found pretty useful, there's hope that it will return. To be honest, we never assumed the times given by the Google Maps were accurate. We did, however, compare the ideal and traffic-based times as a guideline. In that way, they were accurate enough.

We've confirmed that both the iOS and Android apps continue to show the in-traffic estimates for driving time, but whether or not that feature remains in those apps for very long remains to be seen.
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Inspector replied on Mon, Jul 18 2011 1:49 AM

I have not noticed this change myself lol, thanks for the heads up. Maybe that was a sign that i don't really use that feature much therefor i didn't notice it... :P

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I don't know if this is true in places that aren't filled with traffic, but at least in NYC, whenever driving in *really* slow traffic it always seemed that google indicated this with the grey color that meant "no info available" rather than the dreaded black/red that means bumper to bumper traffic. I suspected their algorithms were just going, oh that can't be right, surely traffic is moving faster than 3mph, lets just ignore that. Thus in super heavy traffic google's estimates always seemed overly optimistic. For "normal" traffic they seem to work pretty well.

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Schmich replied on Mon, Jul 18 2011 11:22 AM

"We are always working to bring you the best Google Maps experience with updates like these!"

It's not an upgrade it's a downgrade! Why remove the current ones when you have nothing new to show?? Like the article says we use the timer as a guideline.

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realneil replied on Mon, Jul 18 2011 11:40 AM

I always found that the "In Traffic" estimates were overstated, and that was the cool thing for me. If I used that as a guide, I could be sure to get to an appointment on time if not a little early. Early isn't so bad,........

Maybe just leaving it alone ~while~ they improved the service would have been smarter.

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Tell that to the people in California.

I hear travel time is called Car-Magaton.

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