Google Maps Adds Bicycling Directions for 6 More European Nations
Google is making it easier for tourists who want to travel by bicycle in Europe to plan their trips using Google Maps.Google Maps is again expanding its bicycling directions services for travelers by adding six more European nations to its roster of countries where the popular feature is available. "Back in 2012, we added biking directions to our maps for a number of countries in Europe," wrote Kai Hansen, a Google product manager, in a May 27 post on the Google Europe Blog. "It proved to be a popular feature among cycling amateurs and enthusiasts. We're now delighted to announce that we are now enabling biking directions in Google Maps for Germany, France, Poland, Ireland, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein." Google Maps first added biking directions to their maps for the United States and Canada in 2010. The 10 European nations added to the program in 2012 were Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the U.K. The directions are available using a desktop Web browser or through an Android mobile app that gives turn-by-turn and voice-guided directions in real time for travelers on the go. By August 2012, more than 330,000 miles (equal to more than 530,000 kilometers, or half a gigameter) of bicycling routes were listed in Google Maps, according to Google. The dark-green lines on the maps show dedicated bike trails and paths where motor vehicles are not permitted, while light-green lines show streets with bike lanes. Dashed green lines show other streets recommended for cycling, and bicycling navigation services even help riders avoid steep hills.
"Like in other countries, we've added information about bike trails, lanes and recommended roads directly to the map," wrote Hansen about the newly added bicycling directions. "In some countries, we've worked with partner organizations. In others, users have added hundreds of kilometers of biking paths through Google Mapmaker."