Google Adds Bike Routes to Online Mapping

From The Washington Post:

To request bike routes, select “Bicycling” from the pull-down menu below Google Maps’ directions form. As a company blog post explains, the site prioritizes off-street trails (designated with thick, dark-green lines) over separate bike lanes (thinner, light-green lines) over designated bike routes (dashed, light-green lines) and also tries to avoid hills, busier streets and crowded intersections.

This has been in the works for some time, I blogged about it back in July, 2008. Looks like it’s live now.  It’s not perfect, you may end up being routed a longer route than you could find on your own, but if you’re new to cycling it might be a good way to start. You can always explore alternatives on your own when you have time.

They do have a way to suggest corrections, hopefully people in the know will add to the database. I haven’t tried it out yet in my area since I’m already pretty familiar with the roads around here and know where I am willing to ride and where I’m not. Perhaps it’s targeted more towards people who are unaware of established bike routes or trails in their area.

If you’ve given this a try let me know how you liked it.

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About D. D. Syrdal

Writer of vampire stories and science fiction. First novel, "Revenants Abroad", available now at Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com, Kobo.com, Smashwords. If you like a vampire you can go out drinking with and still respect yourself in the morning, I think you'd like Andrej.
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4 Responses to Google Adds Bike Routes to Online Mapping

  1. DD,

    You would love Berlin. Most streets have separate bike paths.

  2. Digital Dame says:

    Sounds fabulous! 🙂 America is so resistant to cycling, and even with Portland being so bike-friendly, the surrounding suburbs have a long way to go.

  3. I think in the US, bicyclists make drivers nervous, whereas here, drivers are used to them being all over the place.

    I did hear that due to the economy, more Americans were starting to walk more and use bicycles rather than always hopping into their car. Have you seen anything that supports that?

  4. Digital Dame says:

    Well, that’s hard to say. In this area there typically are a good number of cyclists anyway, but yes, I suppose I have seen more ‘regular folk’ riding bikes than in previous years. Most of what we see are the hardcore roadies in the spandex on racing bikes, but I do seem to be seeing more folks in regular street clothes with backpacks, who are obviously using the bike for transportation rather than exercise/recreation.

    I don’t think the problem with drivers is that cyclists make them nervous, mostly they’re pissed off that they have to slow down for a couple seconds to wait to pass a bicyclist. They largely don’t feel cyclists have any right to be on the road, and it infuriates many of them that they have to share the road. Christopher Thompson was an extreme case, but I’m sure there were many people who felt the cyclists in that incident got what they deserved.

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