Google Maps Bicycling Directions went live Tuesday night for locations in the United States.
For details and discoveries, please read “Google Maps “Bike There” Is Now Live” or watch the video from Google Maps explaining the features of Bike There directions.
It seems to work pretty well. As soon as I got to work this morning, I typed in my home and work addresses. The “bike there” directions were very similar to the route that I normally ride to work, which is definitely not the most direct way. I was actually a bit surprised when I saw the map, because I have tried many different routes to work before settling on the one I think is best. Google seems to have it right…for me at least.
To get from my house (RWC) to Menlo Park, a ride I did yesterday, it recommended going down Middlefield. Not my first (or 2nd!) choice.
I don't see a way to leave feedback. It'd be great be able to upload all our favorite off-street shortcuts.
Nicholas, in the orange “this is a beta” window, there's a link that allows you to submit feedback on the resulting directions. Across all Maps, though, there's a link in the lower right corner called “report a problem.”
Re: Middlefield — I plan to check if Google programmed the San Mateo County bike route to SF in their system.
I'm pleased to note that even out here in the sticks of Arkansas, Google seems to've done its homework. I checked several routes and they seem to follow the city's modest but better-than-nothing bike plan.
Clearly my experience is different than Nicholas': I'm sure Redwood City/Menlo Park have far better bike plans than Fort Smith. When I get a minute, I'll check the cycling directions out to Toad Suck.