Last night Google announced the inclusion of bike directions to car, public transit and walking directions options on Google Maps. According to Google Maps’ Shannon Guymon this was one of the most requested missing features on Google Maps.
The new bike directions also provide a new view on maps (see below), one that is more “bike friendly” and emphasizes some features while de-emphasizing others (e.g., freeways, busy roads).
The directions and underlying data to support bike directions come from Google’s Street View effort as well as selected third parties that have already mapped biked trials (i.e., Rails to Trails Conservancy). Here’s an example of the difference between driving and bike directions from AT&T Park (baseball stadium) in San Francisco to the Golden Gate Park:
The rest of this post is on SEL.