Google Maps biking directions hits the United States

by Justin on March 10, 2010

Google, answering demand from the public, has added bicycling directions to Google Maps in the United States. By tweaking its routing algorithm, Google has enabled cyclists to route out a journey from point A to point B that manages to take into account hills, traffic on arterial roads and even busy intersections. This means that things like steep hills and traffic lights won’t be part of your bike route to work, likely lessening the time it takes to get there and reducing the overall effort.
The data for the bike trails was acquired in partnership with the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and includes more than 12, 000 miles of coverage in 150 cities across the US. When looking at the map, dark green lines indicate bike-only trails, light green indicate a dedicated bike lane along a road and dashed green lines indicate roads that are preferred for cycling but do not include dedicated lanes. The routing algorithm will first favor dark green routes and gradually add less weight until it reached dashed green routes.
Like all other Google products, Google Maps biking directions will be improved with the help of user feedback. The company also says that once Map Maker is available in the United States, riders will be able to contribute their own information as well.
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  • arliejacobs
    Google biking directions are on, through google maps you can find great routes of biking trails and biking lanes, you can do all the other things you do when looking for directions through google maps, you can find better routes, quicker routes that have less hills, or routes that have lots of hills if you want to work out.
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  • Awesome addition. I use Google maps when I'm driving. I'm eager to see how well the GPS will work on the handheld and how accurate the locator will be since you have to be more precise when you ride a bike. Either way, great news that Google listens to their customers requests.
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