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March 10, 2010

Google Maps Adds Biking Directions

Google Maps added a new type of directions for the US: bicycling directions. Google's blog explains that "biking directions keep you on bike-friendly roads and avoid some of the city's busiest intersections".

Adding bicycling directions wasn't an easy task because Google had to gather information about bike trails, bike lanes, uphill or downhill slopes. Google's algorithms try to find the best route and they take into account a lot of interesting factors.

"Our biking directions are based on a physical model of the amount of power your body has to exert given the slope of the road you're biking on. Assuming typical values for mass and for wind resistance, we compute the effort you'll require and the speed you'll achieve while going uphill. We take this speed into account when determining the time estimate for your journey, and we also try hard to avoid routes that will require an unreasonable degree of exertion."

1 comment:

  1. Alex, did you notice in the video that the "More..." dropdown includes a Latitude layer?

    Interesting ... could they finally be including it on the web version of Maps?


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