Google Maps expands biking directions to rest of Europe

24 May 2013

Cyclists in Ireland, Germany, France, Poland, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein will be delighted to learn they will finally be able to get biking directions on Google Maps from today.

The bike-friendly mode will provide cyclists with routes that avoid busy streets and use suitable bike paths, as well as providing time estimates for the route based on road types, terrain and the number of turns during the course of the ride.

Terrain mode will also give cyclists a sense of how much work their legs will have to do.

Cyclists will also be able to use turn-by-turn navigation with audio instructions from their smartphones.

As well as directions from Google, users themselves have added hundreds of kilometres of biking paths through Google Mapmaker.

“As the season of big bike races has started, why not check what route Google suggests for a historical stage of the Tour de France?” asked Kai Hansen in the Google Maps blog.

“For example, the bicycle route suggested by Google for the classic stage from Biarritz to Bordeaux keeps you on 206 beautiful, often car-free kilometres close to the Atlantic Ocean, compared to the rather boring 206 kilometres on the N10/A63 which is suggested for cars.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years