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Cycling Coming to Google Maps in Los Angeles…Today?

Screen_shot_2010_03_10_at_7.24.25_AM.pngMy current Google Map of the Bike Route from my current home to my new home.

The bike blogs and even some traditional news outlets are buzzing with the news that Google Maps will be launching a "bike directions" application later today at the National Bike Summit in Washington in 150 cities, including Los Angeles.  The New York Times [1] reports:

Much like the driving and walking directions on Google Maps, the service selects a route and calculates estimated cycling times after a user provides start and end points. The routing algorithm attempts to select optimal directions that avoid freeways and busy roads and intersections, and take into account bike paths, bike lanes and bike-friendly streets. They will seek to route around hills, whenever practical. Google Maps will also offer a “view” geared for cyclists that will display bike-friendly routes. A mobile version is likely to follow soon, said Shannon Guymon, a product manager for Google Maps Directions.

Google also has a video up on You Tube [2], explaining how the application works.  It's a nice, friendly video and might be worth checking out even if you are tech savvy enough to figure out to use this google maps application without a primer.

 I'm going to be spending most of today working on the new house, and I'm not sure when my Internet is getting hooked up.  As soon as I have a chance to try the biking directions, I'll post a review.  In the meantime, please re-map your own routes and let me know how Google Maps does providing a safe and convenient route for Los Angeles' cyclists.