Google Maps Now Includes Bicycling Directions

Google Maps Biking

Google Maps now has directions for cyclists!

In 2005, Google started offering directions for car drivers, then two years later, it added transit routes. The map navigation expanded to pedestrians in 2008. We’ve already written about how Google Maps is becoming increasingly useful for urban residents, and the addition of suggested bike routes definitely adds to its appeal.

According to the Google “Lat Long Blog,” the biking directions factor in bike trails, bike lanes, recommended routes, uphill slopes, downhill slopes, busy roads and busy intersections. During this “beta” phase, Google is also soliciting feedback from users via the “Report a problem” tool. For now, the directions are available in 150 American cities, with help from the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, which will is providing its extensive trail-map data to Google.

The new functionality also owes much of its existence to the passionate grassroots efforts of googlemapsbikethere.org, which collected more than 51,000 signatures in an online petition to add a Google Maps “Bike There” feature.

No telling what this will mean for sites like Ride the City, which uses OpenStreetMap tiles to help bicyclists find the safest and quickest routes in seven U.S. cities.

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  • http://twitter.com/sosharon sosharon

    Google Maps Now Includes Bicycling Directions | thecityfix.com http://bit.ly/bybo2U

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  • http://cyclingframes.blogspot.com Jim Nariel

    this is great news – well done google

  • http://thecityfix.com/members/ericaschlaikjer/ Erica Schlaikjer

    Excellent points. Hopefully, enough cyclists will submit feedback to allow Google to update and refine its algorithms to reflect those types of concerns. I was thinking of testing out Google’s suggestion for my bike route to work. We’ll see how it goes!

  • Robin

    This tool is only effective if :

    1. you accept the position that streets with bike lanes are safer than without them. I would suggest that often, if not always the opposite is true as bike lanes are often in the “door zone” of cars, filled with debris, and generally bad traffic practice. I would prefer a mapping system that allows me to avoid bike lanes–focusing more on slopes and traffic speeds.

    2. If trails are designed for bikes. In most cases they are not and therefore bike travel on them consists of pedestrian conflicts, poor sightlines, potentially disastrous grade changes along with a whole host of design issues which make biking on them slow and often dangerous.

  • http://twitter.com/creamcitizen creamcitizen

    Google Maps Now Includes Bicycling Directions: Google Maps now has directions for cyclists!
    In 2005, Google start… http://bit.ly/cl6ByR

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter