• Posted Jul 26, 2008

Plug in your start and ending points and Google maps will tell you the easiest way to walk (and bike) there!

This week, Google Maps launched a feature that offers walking directions for trips shorter than 6.2 miles. Yes, this new feature works great for bike trips too! The walking option ignores the direction of one way streets. Although the technology is not smart enough (yet) to recommend bike trail and pedestrian bridges, it is rumored that Google is working to collect the needed data to include more options that just roads. To test this Feature, I opened up Google maps and clicked on the "Get Directions" link and typed in; Start Address: 811 Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50392 End Address: 111 Grand Ave Des Moines IA 50309 It defaulted to "Directions by Car" (See upper left hand corner). I then switched "Directions Walking" and saw the route change. I know that Grand is a one way street (East to West). You can see the different routes presented. sweet! DRIVING DIRECTIONS - 0.7 mi – about 3 mins WALKING DIRECTIONS - 0.5 mi – about 9 mins For longer routes, use the "avoid highways' option to get a bike route. Make sure you are familiar with the roads it recommends before venturing out. How to bypass the 6.2 mile limiter First type in two addresses shorter than 6.2 miles and choose the "walking" directions. Then type in the addresses longer than 6.2 miles. It will still be in "walking" mode. Note that if you choose "Car mode", the walking option will not be available. I'm not sure how long this 'back door" approach will work, but it work when I posted this Feature. KUDOS to Google and their continued mapping improvements! Enjoy!

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