Google Biking Directions

Google Maps goes live today with their much-anticipated Biking Directions feature. From the Google Blog:

Whenever I meet someone who finds out that I work on the directions team for Google Maps, the first question I’m asked is often “So when’s Google Maps going to add biking directions?” We’re big biking fans too, so we’ve been itching to give you a concrete answer. I don’t want to keep the good news a secret any longer, so the answer is: right now!

Today we’ve added biking directions and extensive bike trail data to Google Maps for the U.S. My team has been keeping close tabs on all the public support for biking directions that’s been steadily coming in, but we knew that when we added the feature, we wanted to do it right: we wanted to include as much bike trail data as possible, provide efficient routes, allow riders to customize their trip, make use of bike lanes, calculate rider-friendly routes that avoid big hills and customize the look of the map for cycling to encourage folks to hop on their bikes. So that’s exactly what we’ve done.

So far, there’s data in the system covering 150 cities and 12,000 miles of off-street trails across the U.S. Eventually, bicyclists will be able to directly contribute information about their local trails, bike lanes and suggested routes via Google Map Maker.

Google Maps Biking Directions
Google Blog

11 Responses to “Google Biking Directions”

  • Mr B says:

    I’ve been waiting forever for this. Finally!

  • Google Maps Biking Directions – Butchertown Greenway « Historic Butchertown says:

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  • AdamM says:

    Hopefully other parts of the world won’t be too far behind…

  • d'Andre says:

    hey, it won’t let me go down streets the wrong way! Actually, I noticed this because it’s not recognizing some path/street connections that actually exist. I would never try to ride down a street the wrong way.

  • kevin says:

    FAIL!!

    If I take their proposed route for my daily commute, I’d give myself a week before I became road kill. Nice try. Like most google apps, I’m sure it will get better with age.

  • Dann says:

    Just tried it for a 20 mile in-city ride to a business appointment in the Portland, OR metro. It worked for that!

  • jun says:

    I’d be interested to see if it works better than this:

    http://www.ridethecity.com/

    The toronto routing in the downtown area seems pretty good, but of course Google hasn’t rolled out maps for Canada yet.

  • Rex in Phoenix says:

    The proposed routes I’ve gotten so far are OK… better with a little tweaking, but good for some new ideas. I definitely like the highlighting of bike lanes, routes and dedicated paths. I like to change my route up so being able to see the big picture with those marked is helpful.

  • Stephen says:

    I tried it for a route from Wilmington DE to Berwyn PA – results still need improvement. Google’s preferred route assumed I would want Philadelphia’s Schuylkill River Trail, so I would take Route 13 to Philadelphia and then take the trail. Unfortunately this turns a 30 mile trip into a 50 mile trip to use a low speed trail that doesn’t really go to my destination. I find 20 miles a long detour.

    Google show US 202 as an alternative, recognizing which parts of 202 are restricted to motor vehicles. The good news is this is a 30 mile route. However, while I use US 202 or US 1 elsewhere (4-6 lane highways with traffic at 40-50mph), even I find there are more pleasant local roads for the trip Google was suggesting US202 for bicycling.

  • Google Biking Directions « mn Bike Rack says:

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