More on Google Bike Maps

Google built their new Bike Maps right here in Seattle and Product Manager Shannon Guymon posted on the Official Google Blog this morning with instructions:

Let’s say you want to bike to work, or maybe you want to drive less and spend more time outdoors. Biking directions can help you find a convenient and efficient route that makes use of dedicated bike trails or lanes and avoids hills whenever possible. To find biking directions, select “Bicycling” from the drop-down menu when you do a directions search:

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I’m riding over to the Bike Expo this weekend and tried a route …

Very Much a Beta

As Google told us, the Bike Maps are very much a beta and they’re asking users to report a problem with the directions. Problems will be found because the maps are generated based on a variety of data sources, not all of them are accurate when it comes to bikes. We’ve all mapped out a route and then found out that it’s not ideal when we got there, but this tool will benefit from user feedback. The route mapped to the radio station puts me on the West Seattle Bridge – not a good place to ride a bike! However, another reader just wrote to say

just mapped my ride to work and the suggested route was pretty dang good. Happy to see that my avg time is about 20min faster than the bot.

Faster than the bot! That’s a new personal best measure: faster than the Google bike bot.

Meet the Bike Map Makers

Google is riding with us and partying at the Mobile Social this weekend in Austin. They’re creating a community with the Bike Maps and want to talk with you much more about it.