Monday, May 27, 2013 | 11:56 AM
Back in 2012, we added biking directions to our maps for a number of countries in Europe. 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.
Like in other countries, we've added information about bike trails, lanes and recommended roads directly to the map. In some countries we’ve worked with partner organisations. In others users have added hundreds of kilometers of biking paths through Google Mapmaker.
How does it work? I am a big tennis fan, so lets say I live in Hamburg and want to head over from my house in the suburbs to a tournament. I am able to grab my Android phone and ask Google Maps for the directions to the stadium. Google Maps will return a route that avoids busy streets and uses suitable bike paths. Time estimates for the route will be based on a complex set of variables accounting for the type of road, terrain and turns over the course of my ride. I also am able to turn by turn Navigation for my bike. I just plug earphones into my phone, switch over to Navigation and let Google Maps guide me through the city - just as from the car.
Of course, you can also use biking directions for a more challenging trip. As the season of big bike races in Europe has started, why not check what route Google suggests for a historical stage of the Tour de France? Our bicycle route for the classic stage from Biarritz to Bordeaux navigates on 206 beautiful, often car-free kilometers close to the Atlantic Ocean, compared to the rather boring 206 kilometers on the N10/A63 which is suggested for cars.
Regardless of the scope of your trip, roads and paths suitable for a bicycle are available by switching on the biking directions legend. This is designed to make it easy to find nearby trails for a recreational ride. Click on the widget at the top right of the map to turn on the "Bicycling” layer.
|Suitable roads for riding your bicycle in Dublin, Ireland|
|A bike path on Google Mapmaker in Poland|