Google Trails

Ever wanted on apply the same ease of finding directions for cars to biking? Well, now you can. March 10, Google announced that, in addition to providing car routes, their map feature would also now provide biking directions as well.

It is pretty apparent that this is a continuation of Google’s already green stand. Not only will it lessen hydro-carbon emissions, it will also encourage people to get out and exercise more on paths that are safe and well-documented. This is perfect since the highest concentration of obesity are in cities where this will be of the most use.

In addition to having directions, they also provide elevation for the directions as well. This is a really exciting feature for people who may not be quite as skilled at biking or those who want to put themselves to a challenge. It really lets people pick the paths that are best for themselves. As people bike more and more it will allow them to pick more challenging routes as their current ones become to easy.

For the first few weeks there are bound to be bugs. There are reports on the Google support site that the directions sent bike commuters through places where they were not allowed. This probably means instead of having someone out riding the paths/direction courses themselves, Google input a bunch of known trails and then let their computers try and match them up for directions. So, it is very likely there will be quite a few hiccups for some time before Google gets all the kinks worked out.

All the same, this new Google Maps feature is really ideal for large cities where commuting by car can be more than a little pain staking. Just think how much easier it will for people to get around now. So people, just give it some time to work out its kinks and Google Maps is certain to be huge.

Cover photo from googlemapsbikethere.org

Story photo from Creative Commons