Our office was abuzz this morning with some very exciting news from the Google. Partnering with the Rails to Trails Conservancy, Google Maps now offers biking directions! The announcement has some pretty big implications for our Trail Finder project, all of which will enhance your experience when searching for trails.
With the addition of biking directions to Google Maps’ swiss army knife of tools, users will be able to plot routes that incorporate bike paths, bike lanes, and bike-friendly streets. Bike routes even take into account elevation by routing you around unruly hills! These new features can potentially be integrated into the Trail Finder, which utilizes the Google Maps API.
A blog post from the Rails to Trails Conservancy (RTC) highlights their new partnership:
The release of this long-awaited feature allows Google Maps users to type in their destination and receive directions for the best bicycling route. Previously, Google was able to provide walking, driving or transit directions. Now, RTC is providing its extensive trail-map data to Google Maps for the seamless integration of safe, accessible and fun bicycling routes into daily travel.
Local Motion is exploring ways that we can share our trail data with RTC and Google. Currently a few major paths, like the Island Line, are included in their data. We’d like to see all 113 individual trails from Northwest Vermont added, plus many more that are coming soon as part of our collaborative expansion with three trail groups from across the state.
Curious to see what the buzz is about? Hit ‘Go’ on the gadget below or visit maps.google.com and turn on the Bicycling layer in the More menu.
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