Google Aug. 18 added bike lane and trail data to cover an additional 80 cities for its Google Maps biking directions service.
The search engine doesn’t release stats very often, but with all of the vitriol expended over the “Google Maps Street View WiSpy” scandal, it’s clear Google could help its cause by pumping up Google Maps, even if it is for bikes and not cars.
To wit, the company proudly said more than 10,000 people have submitted some 25,000 suggestions for improvements to its biking directions. Check a few out here.
Google March 9 launched bicycle directions and bike trail data for some 12,000 miles of trails on Google Maps in the United States.
The company teamed with the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy to offer cyclists bike lane and trail data for 150 cities.
Of course, the service is very much in beta and isn’t perfect, as this New York Times piece attests. There’s so much terrain to cover!
Wisely, Google asked its cyclist users for help in improving bike maps, allowing users to e-mail recommend improvements.
Getting 10K users to submit 25K suggestions for anything is a big deal for a free Web service. It’s an astonishing feat for crowdsourcing applications and directly contributed to Google adding coverage for 80 cities.
Unfortunately, the company’s WiSpy scandal, in which the company accidentally snatched 600 gigabytes of data citizens shuttled over WiFi networks, dulls the feel of Google’s Web services at every turn.
Google said Aug. 10 it was launching Street View later this year in Germany.
The search engine promised to give German citizens four weeks to request that their home be shielded from Street View.
When privacy officials complained, Google upped that cap to eight weeks, the Associated Press said.
Google is also being sued for providing walking directions to a woman who was struck by a car on a busy speedway. Ouch.