Tuesday, March 9, 2010

America's 57 Million Bicyclists Can Use Google To Map Bike Routes

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Ever want to use Google to map your bike ride?

Well, it's going to happen.

The League of American Bicyclists' National Bike Summit here will give Google the forum to announce what all bike riders have been waiting for - Grab Your Bike and Go with Google Maps.

Google is announcing at the Opening Plenary Session at the National Bike Summit that they are adding biking directions in the U.S. to Google Maps.

"This new tool will open people's eyes to the possibility and practicality of hopping on a bike and riding," said Andy Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists. "We know people want to ride more, and we know it's good for people and communities when they do ride more - this makes it possible. It is a game-changer, especially for those short trips that are the most polluting."

Users can now choose biking when deciding how to get to their destination, starting March 10. If you're one of the 57 million Americans who ride a bike, then mapping your daily commute or planning recreational and trail rides just became easier.

According to Google, this has been the most requested addition to Google Maps, and the League is delighted that they have chosen the National Bike Summit to unveil this new feature.

This new feature includes: step-by-step bicycling directions; bike trails outlined directly on the map; and a new "Bicycling" layer that indicates bike trails, bike lanes, and bike-friendly roads.

The directions feature provides step-by-step, bike-specific routing suggestions - similar to the directions provided by our driving, walking, or public transit modes. Simply enter a start point and destination and select "Bicycling" from the drop-down menu. You will receive a route that is optimized for cycling, taking advantage of bike trails, bike lanes, and bike-friendly streets and avoiding hilly terrain whenever possible.

Visit http://maps.google.com/biking to try out this new feature. Biking directions for Google Maps is currently in Beta. Follow the League's news feed on the new Google feature on the League's Blog, Facebook and Twitter. If you have any further questions, contact Meghan Cahill at 202.822.1333 or meghan@bikeleague.org.


Donny said...

AWESOME. I've been waiting for this.

I have to say that their directions right now can be horribly complicated though. Mapping the route from my apartment to the Seminole Heights Garden Center, it has me take about 15 turns... Turning every couple of blocks in some places.

It's a work in progress though, and I'm pretty impressed. =)

Jared said...

Yay! This is a great addition! I am just wondering who is deciding if it is bike friendly...