Biking directions on Google Maps are nothing new for users in the U.S. and Canada, but starting today, Google will also allow Android users to get voice-guided turn-by-turn directions during their bike trips. Riders, Google says, can now “mount their device on their handlebars, see upcoming turns and use speaker mode to hear voice-guided directions.” The turn-by-turn directions can even help you avoid steep hills, Google notes.
Today’s update also brings biking directions in Google Maps for Android to the same 10 additional countries that got this feature on the desktop last month (Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK).
In total, Google Maps now covers about 330,000 miles of “green biking lines” in Google Maps. These include dedicated bike trails (shown as dark green lines), streets with bike lanes (light green lines) and other streets recommended for cycling (dashed green lines).
Google plans to expand its biking features to more places in the future and says that it has worked with groups like the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and the biking community to bring bike data to hundreds of cities in the last two-and-a-half years since it first launched this feature. In areas where Google Map Makers and biking directions are currently available, riders will also now be able to suggest bike trails and other good cycling routes that not featured on Google Maps yet.
Google provides search and advertising services, which together aim to organize and monetize the world’s information. In addition to its dominant search engine, it offers a plethora of online tools and platforms including: Gmail, Maps, YouTube, and Google+, the company’s extension into the social space. Most of its Web-based products are free, funded by Google’s highly integrated online advertising platforms AdWords and AdSense. Google promotes the idea that advertising should be highly targeted and relevant to users thus providing...