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Google Bike Routes

I'm hearing rumors in the bike blogosphere today suggesting that Google is about to announce a new GoogleMaps feature: Bike Routes!

Someone from Google has been scheduled last-minute as a speaker at the plenary opening session of League of American Bicyclists annual summit tomorrow.

I've got decent local bike-route mapping already, but if Google takes it on, rumor suggests that it will include things like elevation gain (kind of a crucial cycling consideration), and it will be rolled out nationwide in the US--with UK and Europe rollout coming soon.

It would give a fantastic boost to bike-riding if it's true. Google has had pedestrian route-mapping for quite a while now, and they added public-transit route mapping more recently. Every time anyone goes to map a route, they see those options. It's gotta have a subliminal effect even for people who don't USE those options. "Oh! there are sidewalks and buses!" Now maybe they'll think, "Bike route...hm."*

Google may be the Evil Overlords of the Internet, but this kind of on-the-ground (literally) tool for real people wanting to live sustainably strikes me as a genuine good.

*idea for Google: make "route with fewest bikes" an option for motorists!

This entry is cross-posted from DarkEmeralds on Dreamwidth.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
str8ontilmornin
Mar. 10th, 2010 07:52 am (UTC)
I've wondered abut this possibility and can't wait to see it in action.
decemberleaf
Mar. 10th, 2010 01:42 pm (UTC)
You're not the only one!
____________
emeraldsedai
Mar. 10th, 2010 07:59 pm (UTC)
It's up and running, and there's a LOT of excitement in the cycling community about it.

Just go to maps.google.com and click on "get directions." There should be a pulldown list that includes By Car, By Public Transit, Walking, and now, Bicycling!
emeraldsedai
Mar. 10th, 2010 07:57 pm (UTC)
It's in action! It's there! It works reasonably well for Portland, as far as I can tell.

Check it out. It's very exciting. People from all over the country are reporting on BikePortland today as to how good the directions are for their locality.

It's not perfect, but heck, it's day one of a Beta. I'm very impressed and encouraged.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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