Google announces plan for “Bike There” option on their maps

The Google Trike was spotted on the South Side Trail, Pittsburgh, over the summer

In a post on the Google Earth and Maps team blog, the ubiquitous company revealed plans to add the long awaited “Bike There” option to their maps.

They say that by integrating this [new] information, and working with specialized data sources like the USDA Forest Service’s Forest Boundaries and the US Geological Survey’s National Hydrography Dataset, we’ve been able to expand and improve features in our maps like parks and water bodies.

They go on to say that the best part about this new dataset is that we’ve been able to add a lot of new, detailed information to Google Maps – information that helps people better explore and get around the real world. For example, college students will be pleased to see maps of many campuses; and cyclists will now find many more trails and paths to explore. Soon we even plan on providing you with biking directions to take advantage of this new data. Of course, in the true Google spirit of “launch and iterate,” we plan to work with more data sources to add new features in the map.

Although no date is set, this is a much needed, and long over due function that will be a boon to cyclists and cycling.  Oftentimes, the best driving directions are not the best roads to take a ride on.  Also, since Google currently doesn’t have trail data, if you are looking for biking directions, and click “Walk There,” there is a chance that it will send you up E Carson St instead of the South Side Trail, for instance.

But, as everybody knows, local knowledge of conditions is something that any satellite or fancy trike could never provide.  So they are looking for locals to help them out with the process.  They’ve added a new tool to Google Maps that lets you communicate directly with Google about any updates that you think need to be made to our maps. You’ll find this “Report a Problem” link on the bottom right of Google Maps (you can also find it by right-clicking on the map).


Not a member of Bike Pittsburgh? Join today! We need you to add your voice! Bike Pittsburgh works to protect cyclist’s rights and promote the vision of making Pittsburgh a safer and more enjoyable place to live and to ride. For more info, check out: www.bike-pgh.org/membership

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