Friday, August 27, 2010

How good is Google Maps's new bike software?

A few Sundays ago, The New York Times ran an interesting article, "Google Leads, You Pedal." It is about how Google Maps's new bike application is reshaping the way bike enthusiasts travel. How good is a software created by a techie thousands of miles away for getting you where you want to go? So far, there are mixed reviews in the always-opinionated biking community.
From a local perspective, Kevin used it the other day to map a bike route. Google took him through the Metroparks and he was surprised to find it steered him on to a bridle trail -- a sure way to get himself fined. He's made a note to himself to contact Google to let them know, which they will appreciate -- the software is user-generated and Google has already received over 20,000 suggested corrections.
What is your experience with Google Maps for biking? Or is there another bike-mapping web site that you prefer?
(Artwork via The New York Times)


  1. Google Maps works great for me. I've had a couple of times when it's given me some minor incorrect info, but it's better than anything else out there (for my uses)

  2. I Google Mapped a route from Medina to Johnstown, OH a few weeks back, a 108 mile trip. I made a couple changes to the beginning of the route, but otherwise it took me, for the most part, on less traveled back roads, even finding me some trails I never new existed! The only problem I encountered was being directed onto a trail only rideable with a mountain bike. I was on a road bike and ended up walking much of the 4 mile stretch. I will definitely use Google again to map rides to places I'm not familiar with.

  3. When it was first released I did a couple of tests and discovered that it would not route via Valley Pkwy through the Cleveland Metro Parks. I sent an email to Google and got a canned response. About a month later I received personal email from Google telling me that they had investigated and corrected the routing. Give them feedback. They are using it and revising the data.

  4. I live in Boston, MA and used it over the past Labor Day weekend to ride to the South Shore to Hingham and to the North Shore to Marblehead. Overall was quite pleased with the information given.