14 October 2009

Bike there option coming soon to Google Maps

There has been a petition going around for a while to try and get Google Maps to add a "bike there" feature to their directions. Last week, Google announced on their Lat Long Blog that they will be incorporating that feature into their maps soon. You can read the entire post here, but this is the paragraph that matters the most to cyclists: (the highlighted part is by me, not google)
The best part about this new dataset is that we've been able to add a lot of new, detailed information to Google Maps - information that helps people better explore and get around the real world. For example, college students will be pleased to see maps of many campuses; and cyclists will now find many more trails and paths to explore. Soon we even plan on providing you with biking directions to take advantage of this new data. Of course, in the true Google spirit of "launch and iterate," we plan to work with more data sources to add new features in the map.

This is great news to anyone who is considering cycling in an unfamiliar area. There were very few details in the post, but we can hope that they are going to work with local municipalities to insure that they include, and are aware of the class Im, II, and III bike lanes and routes when they provide routes for cycling.

I am a big fan of google maps. I have used it several times when I have been cycling in unfamiliar areas, sometimes with success (Portland), and other times - not so much (Boise area trying to find the velodrome) It's extremely handy to pull out the Blackberry when you're lost, or in an unfamiliar area and see where you are, or even get directions to where you want to go (assuming that Google has the correct address in their database. Idaho Velodrome in Eagle is a good example of that). I have been routed onto major roads before using that.

I am excited about what Google could do with this. Hopefully they will have it rolled out soon.

No comments: