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

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Archive for October, 2009

50,000 Signatures, and a Big Google Announcement

October 13, 2009 By: Peter Smith Category: Advocacy

Congratulations, y’all! 50,000 signatures!

We hit that number about a week or so ago, thanks to ‘Jessica’ — the 50,000th signature.

Shortly after we hit the big 50k mark, Google made a small announcement on their LatLong blog:

The best part about this new dataset is that we’ve been able to add a lot of new, detailed information to Google Maps - information that helps people better explore and get around the real world. For example, college students will be pleased to see maps of many campuses; and cyclists will now find many more trails and paths to explore. Soon we even plan on providing you with biking directions to take advantage of this new data. Of course, in the true Google spirit of “launch and iterate,” we plan to work with more data sources to add new features in the map.
This is totally awesome. We heard the rumors before, but this is an official announcement. Great stuff.
Now we’re all curious to see the first cut. If there is a city or organization working with Google to provide them actual bike-specific street data (say, on the relative ‘bikiness’ of certain streets, Class I/II/III, contra-flow routes, etc.), I haven’t heard about it yet — but that’s not saying much, as I’m usually the last to know. :)
This page talks about path data provided by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (an awesome bike and walk path-creating and and right-of-way-preserving organization) and the U.S. Geological Survey (putting our tax dollars to work, baby!).
So, cross your fingers, hope for the best, and when the first cut is out we’ll try it out and offer constructive feedback and help to make it the best bike-trip-eventually-fully-multi-modal-planner ever!