Friday, March 12, 2010

Google Maps and bike routes

I am sure anyone who's familiar with Google Maps has now figured out or heard they have added bicycle routing to their functionality. For those who are not familiar with Google Maps, it offers a variety of geographic capabilities via the web including but not limited to finding addresses, trip routing, and Street View, which allows the user to see what they would find if they were viewing the address location and vicinity from the street - a virtual drive-by, if you will.

I checked it out this morning. I would concur with some of other reviewers' commentaries. Or this one, including readers' comments.

In specific, the trial route I plotted was shorter than what I would have instinctively chosen, however, it was on much heavier-traveled roads which have much higher speeds, roads you do not want to have any sort of mechanical failure on. Also, one stretch in specific does not have any bicycle facilities, such as a bike lane, it even lacks a wide shoulder.

Google appears accepting of the fact this feature has its kinks and encourages people to contact them to help amend their first attempt at providing bicycle routing functionality, and for taking this bold step, I give them kudos.

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