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Safe haven sanctuary 'Google Bring Maps To Cyclists'


Jun 16, 2009
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Cycling enthusiasts tend to be a passionate bunch.

So it is not surprising that there are lots of questions about biking information on Google Maps forums. One group, called googlemapsbikethere.org, has collected more than 51,000 signatures asking Google to add biking directions to its maps.

It’s long been one of Google Map’s most requested features, and now it’s here. Recreational cyclists and bike commuters alike can plot cycle-friendly routes, find trails, and avoid snarling traffic with Google Maps’ Bicycle layer.

On Wednesday, the company was answering the call, offering biking routes in 150 American cities in Google Maps. Google plans to unveil the service during the National Bike Summit in Washington. The event will be followed by a group ride at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Tex.
Bicycling advocates are, not surprisingly, enthused.

Maps’ bike-friendly, green-toned map can be accessed in a few ways: by choosing “Bicycle” from the drop-down box below your destination when you’re looking for directions; by hitting the “More” button along the upper-right buttons, or heading directly to Google Maps for bikes.

The bike directions take a lot of factors into consideration when sending you around on your two wheels. Google looks for roads with designated bike lanes, tries to avoid areas with lots of hill climbs and drops, and, when possible, whenever a road has been designated by a city or cycle group as bike-friendly. In giving estimates on trip times, Google uses an average person at an average Body Mass Index level, peddling up and down the terrain.

Experts predict that the Google service would help to promote cycling as an alternative mode of transportation. “A lot of people would love to get on their bike but are afraid they won’t find a safe route,” Googles Shannon Guymon said. “If you make these options more available to people, they will do it.”

As for cycling times, Ms. Guymon said the estimates are “conservative.” “If you are in good shape, you are going to beat these times,” she said.

In San Francisco, the route from Dolores Park to the Golden Gate Bridge, through the Golden Gate Park Panhandle and along Masonic Avenue, suggests about 40 minutes. Any riders who can do better ? Source:http://gadgetwise.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/09/google-maps-adds-directions-for-cylists/

Google YouTube Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JN5_NBSu7Lw&feature=player_embedded

Visit http://maps.google.com/biking to try out this new feature.
It's in beta and needs, uh, some adjustments. Check your favorite routes, particularly any on which you do something other than just ride on plain surface streets, like bike paths, short cuts through parking lots, freeway shoulders, etc. Make sure those are shown properly, and report any problems to google.
Mar 11, 2009
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BroDeal said:
Watching vids on Youtube must be a real b!tch.

I've heard that they can't because the 8mm movie reels are too heavy for the pigeons.

Alas! Down here in the Caribbean carrier pigeons have not yet evolved and we've been unsuccessful at training bats. :)
Mar 13, 2010
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Google maps

I live in a part of the USA that has a variety of bike paths, including rail trails in various stages of development. Google hasn't yet gotten to the point where the bike maps distinguish between pavement, gravel and dirt. so road bike riders need to exercise caution in relying on maps generated by the new feature. It's still a step in the right direction and at least in some cases you can check Google Street View to judge from the looks of the trail head whether your skinny tires can handle the surface.