Google Maps Bike There…for a safer, healthier, happier world. :-)

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Improving Safety in More Ways Than One

May 29, 2008 By: Peter Smith Category: Bicycle Maps

Knowing the safest bicycle route from Point A to Point B is a natural concern, but there are other uses for providing bicycle directions on Google Maps…like getting un-lost.

It happened to me just three or so weeks ago. I went “south of the river” to an area I was not familiar with. Of course, it was dark by the time I was coming back, and I lost my way. Not only did I not know where the bike lanes were, but I didn’t even know which general direction I was supposed to be heading. I rode around for an hour or so trying to figure it out, but I eventually caved and asked for directions. Then I got lost again. Then I asked for directions again, and finally made my way back home.

If I had a “personal navigation device”—a Garmin or similar device—I would at least have been able to head in the right direction, but ideally I would have been able to get bicycle directions from wherever I was to wherever I was going.

With the upcoming version of the iPhone, and the first Android phones on their way, we should have compass and GPS capabilities available to us. This is another reason Google Maps should provide a “Bike There” feature.

The Android Community blog is covering the Google I/O Developer Conference. Check out the video below of using Google Maps Street View with the built-in compass feature of an Android-powered phone:

Walt Mossberg, tech columnist for the New York Times, reminds us that it’s possible to get driving directions from google by using simple text messaging from your cellphone, so it’s not even necessary to have one of these newer, fancier cellphones to be able to take advantage of bicycle directions on Google Maps.

2 Comments to “Improving Safety in More Ways Than One”


  1. I find that my Garmin is very useful for getting me headed in the right direction in such a case. You can easily start heading back home or to any lap marker. Usually something begins looking familiar as you get close and then all’s well.

    Don’t be afraid to ride on the roads. They are ours too.

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  2. Andrew Nosal says:

    technophilia is running amok
    Hey folks ever hear of this thing called a street map? Fits in your pocket. Interfaces with your brain via your eyeballs. Every time you use one to think about how to get somewhere you actually learn things and get smarter.

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