27
May
unnamed

Bicycling enthusiasts in Europe (of which there are many) are getting a present from Google today with the addition of biking directions in Google Maps for six new countries. Cyclists in Germany, France, Poland, Ireland, Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein can now pull down routes that take into account the available biking trails, paths, and lanes. This applies to mobile and desktop apps.

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When biking directions are selected in Google Maps, it chooses routes that avoid busy streets, and sends riders down dedicated bike paths where available. Google worked with other organizations in a few countries to catalog all the bike paths, but several hundred kilometers of trails were added by users. If Google missed any, you can still have them added by reporting a problem.

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Turn-by-turn navigation for biking on Android works just like it does for a car, but the usual warnings about beta products and being aware of your surroundings still apply. The new rollout also includes the biking layer, which is enabled by default when you search for cycling directions. It can be toggled from the layers menu if you just want to see where nearby bike trails and bike-friendly roads are. Google's European biking data also includes some more scenic rides, like stages from the Tour de France.

These new countries join the likes of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK, which got biking data last year.

[Google Europe Blog]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • Sven L.

    Sweet.

  • http://twitter.com/LiiIiikEaBau5 LiiIiikEaBau5

    It wont be available in countries like Norway which biking is really popular!

    • Ambroos

      Biking directions were already available since mid-2012 in Austria, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. No need to worry :)

      I was a bit surprised seeing this article too, since we've had biking directions in Belgium for quite a while too.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        How about biking navigation?

        • Ambroos

          Not sure, but I think it was available too.

        • Ambroos

          Checked it, it was available!

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      For Norway, Google is going to skip biking and go straight for sledding navigation.

    • Adam

      In Norway Google opted for Viking navigation.

  • karel

    Holland known for riding bikes. not included....

  • Ambroos

    So just to make sure everyone sees it:

    Biking directions were already available since mid-2012 in Austria, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. No need to worry :)

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      I'm not sure what point you're trying to make. We're talking about strictly new countries here.

      • Ambroos

        Looking at the other comments it seems pretty clear that many people didn't realise it was already available in many other countries.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          OK, I'll have Ryan clarify this a bit.

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  • dakuten

    AT LAST.

  • saimin

    Curious that Italy is not included.

  • Kazuo Teramoto

    I read it as "Google enables bikini navigation".

  • Albin Hermansson

    OMG why don't they just redesign Navigation! My eyes are burning!

    • porter86

      It looks terrible. I thought they were going to update Maps with a new UI after Google I/O, or did I just wrongly assume that?!

    • mechapathy

      It's coming....this summer.

  • Tylers

    France, Paris here.

    Can't see it yet on my Nexus4 device but present on web interface

  • Guest

    Yay ! :)

  • http://www.kamemmental.fr/ RockAndRock

    Not in the app for the moment for France :/

  • Christopher Orr

    It works! Though I just tried getting cycling directions for four different routes around Cologne. The results were a combination of weird, stupidly-long, impossible and downright dangerous.

    The same routes on OpenStreetMap were a lot more sane, which was nice to see.

  • http://www.kamemmental.fr/ RockAndRock

    Screenshot: (for FR)

  • porter86

    I saw bike directions on Maps the other day in Germany but I assumed it had always been there.. seems I got it early. It was when I clicked the invitation to the new Maps that I noticed it.

  • karthik m

    Hey guys..Iam in Toulouse,France... Iam using Nexus 4 and iam not able to get biking directions in my navigation app.

    Iam able to get biking directions in my chrome desktop not in my Nexus 4...

    Can someone help me?