Google Maps now has bicycling directions

Thanks, as usual, to BoingBoing for the great news that Google has FINALLY implemented Cycling Directions. While it is far from perfect, it is clearly a major step in the right direction. Check out this example route from the LAEV neighborhood to UCLA. I would never actually take this route, but it is still FAR better than just taking Wilshire…

One thought on “Google Maps now has bicycling directions

  1. (This comment first appeared at Streetsblog in a slightly different form.) It’s nice to actually see a few green lines that represent places that are more-or-less good to bike!

    Many of the bike facilities in L.A. are there, but not all. Recent lanes on Reseda and Myra are missing as are portions of the Rio Hondo, Sepulveda Basin and Arroyo Seco bike paths. It shows bike lanes that don’t exist – for example on Motor Ave (in the ~1 mile gap between the existing lanes there.)

    There are quite a few stairways and walkways mapped… but some of the ones I use are missing. When I mapped the ride I plan to do later today (from Eco-Village in K-town to CICLE in Glassell Park) it sent me up a hill on the north end of Fletcher Drive, instead of crossing the freeway at Estara – a much easier route that lots of cyclists use.

    Yah – it’s beta and it was apparently mapped/developed by someone who doesn’t actually bike on L.A. streets. Looks like it’s probably no more or less accurate than the L.A. City bike plan draft or the Metro bike map (which are both full of sloppy errors.) Now, if only it was some kind of open-source wiki-mapping – instead of proprietary data, I’d just go in and fix these errors myself.

    There are a couple of excellent open-source mapping tools used for crowd-sourced bike route mapping. See Open Street Map and OpenCycleMap… they’re not as data-rich in So. Cal. today… but I expect and hope that, over time, their commons open-source data will replace google’s proprietary data. Learn more about these crowdsource mapping applications at this workshop at the March 20th LA StreetSummit: http://bikesummitla.wetpaint.com/page/Crowd+Source+Bike+Mapping

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