Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Bike Routing on Google Maps - Suggest It

The Google Maps "Bike There" petition has generated more than 5,000 signatures and it appears that Google may finally be responding to the deafening roar from the bicycle community. Google Maps offers a suggestion page for improvements and bike routing has been added as a possible improvement. You can help the bike route cause simply by voting for it.

1. Go to the Google Maps Suggest It page, for your convenience we embedded it below.
2. Scroll down the list to the Route Information section
3. Click the "Suggest It" button after the last choice - "Add bike trail
information and biking directions".

Unlike transit or driving routes, bike route choices can be very subjective and the difficulty in route selection is compounded by the the near total absence of nationwide data. The result has been the creation of several local route planners that are running on different algorhythms.

What Google can do is to set a worldwide standard for bike route planning:
  • It should be based on existing road data so that anyone can at least find a basic bike route
  • It should be overlayed with data from communities that have taken the pains to map bike lanes, bike boulevards etc.
  • It should offer options for route preferences such as hills, traffic volume and transit connections.
  • Routing selection should be flexible enough to consider users suggestions for route improvements, and to provide credible data that may not be available elsewhere, such as pinch point hazards and the availability of bicycle parking.


Aadm said...

There is a company called Cloudmade which is working on building a service similar to Google Maps. It's still kind of beta, but it does include bicyle routing based on the OpenStreetMap data.