Saturday, May 15, 2010

Bike route maps available on Google


Biking is a popular form of transportation, and Google is making it even easier. The Internet powerhouse recently added a feature to their Google Maps that allows you to map bike routes between two points. Google (which has an office in Ann Arbor) uses a formula to map a route using bike trails, roads with lighter traffic, and quieter intersections. Both written directions and a satellite map pop up after you type in your current location and your destination. The website offers both a regular map view, as well as a satellite view.

Another handy feature is the ability to click on a camera icon, which brings up photographs of your actual route (if photographs of the area are available online), which can be handy if you’re not familiar with the area you’re biking. Google also offers driving directions, as well as public transportation directions (including when and where to catch public transit) and walking directions. Check out the new bike maps at Maps.google.com/biking.

The sun is shining this weekend, so take out your bike and go for a spin around your Ann Arbor home’s neighborhood. Try out some new bike trails, and explore our city’s great parks. Check AnnArbor.com and The Ann Arbor Observer at ArborWeb.com (check under the “Events” tab on the top left side to view today’s events, as well as upcoming happenings) to see what events are happening around town this weekend.

Biking is environmentally friendly, saves on gas, and is a great form of exercise, burning up to 300 calories while riding at a leisurely pace. Ride faster, and you’ll burn more calories! Use Google’s maps to plot out a new route, and enjoy riding through beautiful Ann Arbor.
Photo courtesy Flickr: JSmith

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