In 2012, Google added biking directions to a number of countries in Europe and it turned out to be a pretty popular feature with cyclists. Now Google is bringing biking directions to even more countries in Europe, including Germany, France, Poland, Ireland, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein.
Google Maps’ biking directions include information about bike trails, lanes, and recommended roads directly on the map. In some countries, Google worked with partner organizations, and in others cyclists have added hundreds of kilometres of biking paths through Google Mapmaker.
Planning a bike route with Google Maps is done in the same way as planning a route with any of Google Maps’ other support transportation modes, like walking, driving or taking public transit. When asking Google for directions, you’ll get a route that avoids busy streets and uses good bike paths.
Time estimates for your bike ride will be “based on a complex set of variables accounting for the type of road, terrain and turns over the course” of your ride. Turn by turn navigation is also available for cyclists so you can get set with your headphones and let Google Maps take you where you need to go.
You can also get biking directions for a more difficult bike ride. For example, if you’re in France, Google can suggest a route that will take you through the Tour de France route.
No matter where you’re going, though, roads and paths that are suitable for biking are available in the biking directions legend, which helps cyclists find trails that are good for biking.
Of course, the people who know the best trails are cyclists themselves, who can report any problems with Google Maps’ biking directions, or add information by using Google MapMaker.