Google Maps Gets The Trend: Bike Routes Added For Major US Cities
Google Maps Goes Bike Friendly
As biking is slowly becoming the transportation mode of choice for more and more people in urban regions of the United States, Google Maps decided to capitalize on the 'green trend' and add bike routes to its already popular map service.
Previously, Google Map users could only search for transportation options by car, public transit or walking. Now, the "bicycling" option is also available. Google Maps uses dark green lines to represent bike trails with no motor vehicles, light green lines to show streets with bike lanes, and dashed green lines to show other streets "recommended" for cyclists. Google Maps even has the capacity to show routes that avoid steep hills to help users avoid routes that will require an "unreasonable degree of exertion." Company called Rails-to-Trails Conservancy helped Google assemble the trail data.
Google continues to perfect its map service. The company launched Street View in 2007, allowing users to see 3-D photos of their destinations. The launch lead to a number of privacy violation lawsuits, but was generally a well received addition.
Google developed biking maps for 150 U.S. cities, including Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Portland and Washington, DC. There is no word yet on when or if the service is going to be expended to Canada.