With the recent release of Google Map’s Bike directions the cycling word has been buzzing over bike mapping. Having a major global player like Google adding to the bike universe certainly has some large implications. Social media has been a flurry of messages discussing the new Google Mapping system, but have things really changed that much?
This reminds me of when GPS units started to become more common and everyone thought they were going to be the greatest things and paper maps would no longer be needed. Well I think anyone who has been lost in the wood because their gps data became corrupted, was inaccurate or the batteries just died, would disagree. GPS units are certainly a very useful tool but still suffer the short comings of all technology.
The question is how will a system like Google Maps help or complicate real world travel? Some questions are already being raised as to the accuracy and efficiency of the routes that are planned by Google Maps bike directions, but on the other hand we have to start somewhere and Google is encouraging feed back on routes that our used or unknown by the system.
Everyone has what they believe to be the perfect commute to work, but in large urban centers in might be beneficial to have cyclist using common routes to commute with possibly increasing safety and awareness. Our friends at Utility Cycling have a great story that examines the Google Maps bike directions further, check it out.