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Good news for tourists – cycling maps

One of the most long-expected events happened – appeared bike-version of Google Maps. New service makes it possible to see the position of bicycle tracks as well as it offers cyclists step-by-step route tracking. It works on the same principle as Google Maps for pedestrians, cars and people who use public transport.

Developers say that cycling maps will help to quickly navigate on the locality, get familiar with new itineraries, plan everyday biking trips at home or to work or just seek a good place for rest at weekends.

A user have to enter starting and ending points, then select “Bicycling” in the drop down menu “More” and he will get the best route that will go through the most suitable cycling paths with respect to the relief of locality. On top of that, it’s possible to change and adjust the route by yourself.

Developers has also included some other equally important features. In particular, it’s possible to view streets using the service Street View, which makes it possible to know how a cycling line looks like and where turnings are located. Owing to the search Local Search, a cyclist can find on a map a place for rest or where it is possible to buy spare parts for a bicycle.

Using Google Biking Directions a user can calculate route time which is specified on the basis of such factors as the length of the route, quantity of hills, rising with time tiredness of the cyclist, etc.

Bicycle paths are differently marked on a map. Cycle trails are marked with dark green color. Separate lines which go along roads are marked with grey. Roads that are not designed for cyclists are marked with light green pecked line. While choosing suitable roads such factors as intensity of traffic, and crossings were taken into consideration.

At present cycling maps undergo beta-testing and are available at

Google Biking Directions are available only for PC users and only for the USA territory. Probably biking version will soon appear for Europe and Canada as well.

Google continues working to improve the quality and quantity of cycling map coverage and is going to make a version for GPS navigation.

Digital cartography and GPS navigation 04-06-2010