Google: By Bike

Google has semi-officially announced that they’ll be adding the “By Bike” option to their “Get Directions” search function. From the Google Lat Long Blog:

“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.”

They haven’t announced a roll-out date, but “soon” sounds fairly promising coming from Google.

Google Lat Long Blog
Bike There Website

11 Responses to “Google: By Bike”

  • brad says:

    That’s awesome! Adding bike paths to Google Maps will also be useful for folks who plot out tours and trips using the Bicycle Toaster and other tools that export .gpx files for use in bicycle GPS units. Our week-long tour this past summer included about 200 miles of bike paths, but I couldn’t plot any of those parts of the trip in advance because none of the paths showed up on the Toaster.

  • Ben says:

    I noticed today when using walking directions (for a bike route) that, at least in Seattle, Google Maps recognized pedestrian/bicycle paths.

  • mike says:

    Hopefully the routing will work well enough…

    If you use you can select from various mapping options. No – it will not autoroute for you – but it does have many paths depending on which options you choose.

    What I’m looking for is a dataset of Class IV roads (dirt / gravel) and trails… Google and other online sources have huge gaps in their accuracy when it comes to rural routes – especially seasonal roads…

  • Salvia says:

    That’s great news for me, I change of city almost every year and I like to ride my bike when I don’t have to carry anything big. I always have to rely on the “on foot” feature on Google maps and that’s not accurate.

  • ToddBS says:

    What I’m looking for is a dataset of Class IV roads (dirt / gravel) and trails… Google and other online sources have huge gaps in their accuracy when it comes to rural routes – especially seasonal roads…

    I ran into this just this past weekend. Using Google maps, I spied a very interesting road a mere 6 miles from my house, that connected to another town about 10 miles away. My only other way to get there by bike is to ride along US 17, which is not overly busy, but not very scenic either. Google even let me make a route down the road.

    I rode down to this other route to find it gated off. It isn’t a private road, it even had a county name marker and a stop sign at the end, but was gated with a “No Trespassing” sign on it. The worst part is that it’s a dirt/crushed limestone road with a nice canopy of oaks almost the entire length. I’ve never seen anything like it in this area. I may have to call the county commission and ask why it’s closed, but I think I may know. There is an old (Civil War era) cemetery down the road that apparently has had some… er…. sacrificial animals turn up in it. So, thanks to the Satanists I can’t ride down a beautiful country back road.

  • vcspinner says:

    Being able to see which streets have bike lanes will be invaluable. When I ride my bike, I try to avoid bike lanes at – they are more dangerous than just riding with traffic. It’s always annoying to be riding a planned route and find myself having to deal with magick paint. This feature will be helpful.

  • Steve Fuller says:


    I’ve noted situations where the county will turn what used to be a public road back over to a private entity. Might be due to low traffic (a road that only services one house), or cut backs in maintenence, etc. Some of the roads around here are called “Class C” roads. A link to one county’s rules about this (in Iowa) is at

  • Lovely Bicycle! says:

    That is all : )

  • jambamkin says:

    I can’t wait to see this on the mobile client

  • mike says:

    ToddBS –

    Definitely call the county. The road may be gated and a ‘legal trail’. The NT sign may not be legal in its placement on the gate.

    We have plenty of legal trails and other ‘roads’ that folks pepper with NT signs. Some in the proper location just off the road, other times making it seem the road is privately owned.

    Or the town may have let it go back to the landowner…


  • doug says:


    That sounds exactly like the gate I like to hop over. Never been caught — yet. It’s pretty easy to know which ones are “serious” though, I guess.

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