Give Google Maps routing a try

Google Map with lanes and routes

I have been working on adding bicycle lane and route information for Carson City to Google Maps. Most of it is based on the Carson City Bicycle Route Map, published by Muscle Powered. Though the entries are certainly not complete, there are enough there that you might want to try a “Get Directions.” Put in your from and to, click the bicycle icon, and then Get Directions. If you want to look at the routes which have been entered, select the “More…” menu item and click the bicycling layer. The solid lines are supposed to be bicycle lanes and the dotted lines bicycle routes. The darkest lines are off-street multi-use paths, though I’m not sure why they are darker since this is not one of the categories in Google’s bicycle layer.

I have a list of about 20 additional routes which I’ve already submitted, though all the bicycle lanes should already be in. I’m not responsible for the incorrect Route 6 / Linear Parkway – someone else did that and I’m trying to get it corrected. If you find something you want in, you can submit a report yourself, though you can also ask me to do so. I’m keeping track of what I’ve already submitted and when it gets corrected or added. It usually takes about six weeks for the corrections/additions to show up, but it is sometimes faster.

At any rate, please comment on what you think of this capability.

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Google Maps gets bicycling directions

googlemapsGoogle Maps finally has a beta of bicycle routing!

The League of American bicyclists has a press release / post on their blog. The link for Google Maps indicated in the blog takes one to a map centered on San Francisco, showing a large number of bicycle routes. The video explains that the dark green lines are bike paths, the light green lines are streets with bike lanes, and the dashed green lines are recommended routes. These are available on the Bicycling layer, so they can be browsed as well as used for routing.

In Carson City, there are only two bicycle routes shown, Route 395 from Murphy Dr to Kings Canyon Rd, and a small piece of the Route 6 multi-use trail in Moffat Open Space. These are two corrections I had submitted recently to Google. I will see how I can get the rest of our bicycle route information into Google, and hopefully they will send their “street view” bicycle here sometime in the future.

This is only the first step, but it is exciting.

“by bike” directions in Google Maps???

Google Maps has long offered “by car” directions, later added “walking,” and there are now a number of cities that have “by public transit.” The transit directions depend on some very complex databases created by transit agencies which include bus and light rail routes, stops, and times. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a “by bike” option? Of course you can get some information from the existing car directions, but it does not include routes that bikes can take but cars cannot, such as multi-use paths and passthroughs that connect neighborhoods for walkers and bikers. It also doesn’t take into account the quality of the route, such as the level of bicycle facility (bike lanes, shared lanes, narrow streets, traffic volume, number of turning vehicles) which all affect bicycling efficiency and safety.

Continue reading ““by bike” directions in Google Maps???”