Google Bicycle directions

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John Roark

Mar 10, 2010, 11:47:27 AM3/10/10
to sf-bike-planner
I noticed google rolled out their bicycle directions.


Amar Pai

Mar 10, 2010, 11:56:13 AM3/10/10
Yep :) 

Although it will eventually render our homebrewed planners obsolete, I'm still  psyched to see this finally launch.

Have you guys tried it?  What do you think?  It needs some work in terms of features/design (no slope cutoff? in SF?) but the scale of the problem they've tackled is truly remarkable.


On Wed, Mar 10, 2010 at 8:47 AM, John Roark <> wrote:
I noticed google rolled out their bicycle directions.


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"I don't walk, I get CARRIED" -- ODB (RIP)

Matthew Heberger

Mar 10, 2010, 12:34:04 PM3/10/10
I saw that this morning too. Agreed, it may obviate our efforts.

I'm impressed. It's not perfect, but it's pretty darn good. It took me
about a month and 7 tries to find the best route from my old house to
the community pool. Google found it in about 0.1 seconds.

I can’t find a legend (?), but it looks like dark green is a bike
route, green is a bike lane, and dotted is a signed bicycle route, at
least for Oakland.

A few problems are immediately apparent. The walking trails around
Lake Merritt are not really suited for bikes, nor are they identified
as bike lanes by the City of Oakland, nor in the East Bay Bicycle
Coalition’s map. I suspect that many, many users will contribute
corrections, and with Google’s ability to “release and iterate”, these
problems will get slowly fixed.

I am not sure about the future of our efforts. There was a burst of
initial enthusiasm, and then a long period of inactivity. John's been
busy coding, it seems, but for everyone else, people want to
contribute, but don't really know how. Thoughts?


Peter Smith

Mar 18, 2010, 1:03:06 PM3/18/10
Hi all!

Just wanted to let y'all know, if you didn't already, that the Google Maps V3 API is out -- and it includes bike directions:

Just an FYI.

On Wed, Mar 10, 2010 at 10:34 AM, Matthew Heberger <> wrote:
I saw that this morning too. Agreed, it may obviate our efforts.


c: 415-912-8056

Matthew Heberger

Mar 18, 2010, 7:49:00 PM3/18/10
Thanks Peter, Amar and John for everything you've done, and are
continuing to do to make biking in SF better.

I've decided to call it quits on the East Bay Bike Planner. I've tried
Google's bike directions, and they're pretty darn good. Not much
chance I could reach a hundredth as many people, even if somehow my
directions were marginally better. I've been using "Report a Problem"
like a fiend, and I just hope that someone will get to my suggestions
sometime this year. (Did you know you can ride across the Bay on the
same route the ferry takes?!?)

It's been fun learning about python, javascript, etc., but I think I
need to devote more energy to being a hydrologist and water policy
analyst.Still, if you need some GIS advice or assistance, I'd be
willing to lend a hand.


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