Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Finally! Google gets on the bike!

Though I always thought Google was ahead of the trend, it took a long time for them to roll out their bike map feature on maps.

I decided to take the maps for a little test drive versus some of the other mapping websites, like Map My Ride and see how they compare. I picked a short route that I ride very often from my house to the Nike campus using bike paths, bike lanes and busy roads. Here's what I got from both.

Map My Ride
  • Total ride distance:8.53 miles
  • Auto-routed to bike paths? Yes
  • Shows elevation: Yes
  • Pros: Picking own route
  • Cons: Having to plot every point.
Google Maps
  • Total ride distance: 8.6 miles (estimates that it'll take me a little over an hour to get there. A nice feature but not very accurate)
  • Auto-routed to bike paths? Yes, and shows paths on "bicycling" filter
  • Shows elevation? Well, shows terrain and I guess I could use that to see how hilly it is.
  • Pros: easy, like all other Google maps.
  • Cons: probably best for commuting and getting around town.
I'm going to keep playing with routes but according to the feedback on, Google seems to have gotten in right.

Glad to see that cycling is being supported on this level especially in light of all the public transportation cuts that are happening/planned.

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