Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Google Maps have quietly added bicycling directions to their website, using off-street bike path data from the Rails to Trails Conservancy.
The directions are still pretty rudimentary, but with the help of users' suggestions, they should improve over time. Google Maps also now recognize off-street multi-use pathways like the Eastern Prom Trail, the South Portland Greenbelt, and the Mountain Division Trail as options fo walkers and cyclists (they're outlined in green in the screenshot below), and include some fairly accurate estimates for how long each trip would take by bike:
A lot of other cities, including the other Portland, New York, and Providence, also have their on-street bike routes mapped in Google Maps. Here's a preview of what we might be able to expect in the future: