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Google Maps Now Offers Directions For Cyclists

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Google Maps Cycling Street View Directions
A view of New York's Lower East Side with Google's new cycling-specific street view. The green lines in the map represent "bike friendly" roads and paths.

As the National Bicycle Summit gets underway in Washington DC this week, Google announced an addition to its Google Maps service, launching an option to get directions optimized for cyclists.

The new option will utilize bike lanes, bike trails, and lighter-traffic roads in determining routes for cyclists. Google says the program will also attempt to avoid hilly terrain whenever possible, a huge plus for cyclists.

The plan means that Google has now integrated bike paths and bike lanes into their gigantic map database, so finding places to ride will be much simpler for cyclists. You can read all about the new features in Google’s blog post about the new service here.

I tried the service on my morning commute, and the program immediately suggested the exact route I take, which took me several months to figure out. It was surprisingly effective in avoiding heavy traffic and even utilized our local bike path for several miles. Hats off to Google on this one.

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13 years ago

Will need to play around with this some more. I tried my usual work commute in it. Came back with 3:11hr and 32 miles, I do 30 mile route in 1:30hr. But my route is using streets and not gravel trails like Google is coming back with.

Zach Overholt
13 years ago

I just tried it out for my commute to work, and I gotta say it was spot on. It even had all three routes I have been known to take. Impressive. Now if they can just highlight where the beer cans will be thrown at you, we’ll be all set!

13 years ago

I captured audio of the reveal at the Summit this morning, though it’s not much more informative than just playing with the new feature.


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