/>
X
Innovation

Google Maps adds biking routes for 150 U.S. cities

Google on Wednesday announced that it has added information for biking routes for 150 U.S. cities to its Maps service.
Written by Andrew Nusca, Contributor on

Google on Wednesday announced that it has added information for biking routes for 150 U.S. cities to its Maps service.

The addition appears to be in response to feedback from cycling enthusiasts who called for information that would make their commutes safer.

Google plans to formally unveil the service during the National Bike Summit in Washington, D.C.

Until now, information for safe bike routes in urban areas was a grassroots affair. Google's move makes the information national, and brings it to computers and eventually mobile phones such as the Apple iPhone and Motorola Droid.

Google teamed up with the nonprofit Rails-to-Trails Conservancy to obtain its information on the bike routes, previously found only at TrailLink.com.

The hope: that people, armed with the knowledge of safer routes, will opt to ride their bikes instead of hop in the car.

Like driving and walking directions on Google Maps, user can select start and end points and the service will calculate a route and the estimated time until arrival. Using an algorithm, the service tries to avoid freeways, busy roads and harrowing intersections while also taking bike paths and lanes into account. (It will even avoid hills if possible.)

Google Maps will also offer a bike “view," and naturally, users can add input to suggest changes over time.

The new information will make its way to mobile phones soon.

Related on SmartPlanet:

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

Editorial standards

Related

The 19 best early Cyber Monday deals under $30
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K

The 19 best early Cyber Monday deals under $30

Live blog: 100+ of the best early Cyber Monday deals
Large white Cyber Monday text with electronics behind it

Live blog: 100+ of the best early Cyber Monday deals

The 51 best early Cyber Monday deals on Amazon
Image of Amazon Echo Show 8 on a wooden table in front of a person cooking and folding pastry dough.

The 51 best early Cyber Monday deals on Amazon