Thursday, March 11, 2010

Bike Specific Directions On Google Maps

A couple of months ago, I mentioned here that Google Maps is working on bike specific directions. Over a Hincapie Sportwear Twitter update from yesterday, I was alerted to the news, that this tool is now online. YAY!

Of course I had to try it out right away! ;-)

As an example, I typed in directions from Furman to Table Rock State Park... A route that I wanted to do with the bike for a while now, but just never gotten around. And this is what Google Maps came up with:

Click to enlarge!

Yeah... That's a little sub-optimal right there. This is basically the same route it would chose when I had picked directions by car. Also other routes that I tried out showed similar results. It leaves out interstates, but will keep major (4 or more lane) highways in. Of course, this is all still the beta stage and they actually have a feedback form up that you can use to comment on the route it picked specified to the turn that you think is incorrect or unsafe. So I expect this to improve once the cycling community gets their hands on this puppy.

But only because it didn't spit out perfect routing right away, doesn't mean that you can't use it... They have a drag feature that just lets you move to route and it will recalculate.

Click to enlarge!

Much better! ;-) I just dragged the route from Greer Hwy to one of the back country roads and voila, we have something to work with along with turn-by-turn directions.

So long!

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