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62 comments

Christ alive! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40636921)

Once again, I farted out of my own asshole!

Fuck! What an eventful day this is!

Not only UK, also many other European countries (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40636953)

According to the H, UK was only one of many European countries for which cycling directions were enabled:

Cycling maps are available in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway and the UK. Cycling directions are available at least in both Austria and Switzerland in addition to the UK.

Source: http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/Google-Maps-jetzt-auch-fuer-Radfahrer-in-Europa-1637428.html (German)

Re:Not only UK, also many other European countries (4, Informative)

Knuckles (8964) | about 2 years ago | (#40637059)

According to the H, UK was only one of many European countries for which cycling directions were enabled:

Cycling maps are available in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway and the UK. Cycling directions are available at least in both Austria and Switzerland in addition to the UK.

Source: http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/Google-Maps-jetzt-auch-fuer-Radfahrer-in-Europa-1637428.html [heise.de] (German)

You can overlay the cycling information for maps, but it doesn't seem to do the route planning for cycling; the only options there remain "per car" and "on foot". So for the time being, for actual cycling route planning in Germany, Komoot [komoot.de] seems to remain the only good option for now.

Re:Not only UK, also many other European countries (4, Informative)

lloydchristmas759 (1105487) | about 2 years ago | (#40637413)

You can overlay the cycling information for maps, but it doesn't seem to do the route planning for cycling; the only options there remain "per car" and "on foot". So for the time being, for actual cycling route planning in Germany, Komoot [komoot.de] seems to remain the only good option for now.

In Switzerland, cycling directions are available (in addition to car, foot and public transport).

Re:Not only UK, also many other European countries (1)

Knuckles (8964) | about 2 years ago | (#40637435)

Interesting, thx. Maybe it will be added later for Germany.

Re:Not only UK, also many other European countries (1)

6Yankee (597075) | about 2 years ago | (#40637581)

I just got cycling directions for Oulu, Finland, and it's definitely using the cycleways. But it appears to use those for the walking directions, too; I haven't yet found routes for which these are different.

Unfortunately the Street View car didn't go down those, so you can't get that nice print-out with the Street View shots... but all the junctions look like two cycleways meeting in a forest anyway. You have to like trees if you live here :P

(Oh, and for some algorithm fun, try getting walking directions from Hull, England to Esbjerg, Denmark. It seems to be trying to minimise the walking distance, with rather amusing results.)

Re:Not only UK, also many other European countries (1)

xSander (1227106) | about 2 years ago | (#40637727)

(Oh, and for some algorithm fun, try getting walking directions from Hull, England to Esbjerg, Denmark. It seems to be trying to minimise the walking distance, with rather amusing results.)

Amusing indeed. I tried the bike directions. You have to bike all the way to Norwich and take the ferry to Esbjerg. The alternative is the same as for the walking route.

Anyway, I'm from The Netherlands and I just tried to get the bike route from my home to work. Well, I know a much shorter route than what it gave me! Obviously it's very much in beta.

Re:Not only UK, also many other European countries (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 2 years ago | (#40641339)

If it starts giving you directions in German it might be time to invest in a really good lock.

Re:Not only UK, also many other European countries (1)

Knuckles (8964) | about 2 years ago | (#40637825)

Yeah, I didn't express that well. I meant that it didn't offer cycling directions *in Germany* (and still doesn't). Planning a cycle route in, e.g., UK does work for me.

err nerr (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 2 years ago | (#40641299)

try getting walking directions from Hull, England to Esbjerg, Denmark. It seems to be trying to minimise the walking distance, with rather amusing results.)

If it says to crawl through pigshit mixed with broken glass it's worth it.

Re:Not only UK, also many other European countries (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 2 years ago | (#40641249)

You can overlay the cycling information for maps, but it doesn't seem to do the route planning for cycling; the only options there remain "per car" and "on foot".

Foot it is then, since most of the cunts round here ride on the sidewalk anyway.

adapting car/walking directions (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | about 2 years ago | (#40645887)

US here...I sometimes adapt the car and walking directions, mainly adjusting the time estimates for bicycle speed. Sometimes it doesn't think I can bike where I actually can, sometimes I just don't bother putting the map into bike mode.

Re:adapting car/walking directions (1)

Knuckles (8964) | about 2 years ago | (#40647109)

Generally I can find the general directions myself, what I need a cycle route planner for is to take surface and traffic/safety into account. There's a lot of cobblestone pavement where I live, and it sucks to ride over that. Doesn't look like Google Maps will help me with this any time soon. But as I said initially, there's komoot.de and it does what I need. I uses OpenStreetMap data as well as other sources, comes with a smartphone app, etc. Hmmm, I just realized it works outside of Germany as well (I tried it for the US), but I don't know about data quality there, and it seems the website is available only in German.

Safety... (5, Funny)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about 2 years ago | (#40636965)

Google Maps has added cycling directions for the UK. The directions aim for safety rather than speed...

So it sounds a klaxon whenever Jeremy Clarkson is in the vicinity so that the cyclists can run for cover?

Re:Safety... (0)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about 2 years ago | (#40637319)

My kingdom for mod points...

Re:Safety... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40642685)

It's another case of treating people like retards until it's guaranteed they're all retards.

I MAKE MY OWN DECISIONS ABOUT IF I WANT TO GO FAST OR SAFE, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

CycleStreets is often better (5, Informative)

xaxa (988988) | about 2 years ago | (#40636969)

While Google do now have many cycle routes marked, I still prefer CycleStreets [cyclestreets.net] (which uses the same data as OpenCycleMap [opencyclemap.org] , i.e. OpenStreetMap). That gives a choice of three routes (fast, balanced, quiet), and has more cycling-related data on the map. Sometimes the routes can be a bit wiggly, but I think they're working on this.

However, it's great to see the cycle routes on Google, which will make them visible to lots of people -- hopefully those that don't realise their trip to the shops or work is faster by bicycle.

Re:CycleStreets is often better (3, Informative)

Chrisq (894406) | about 2 years ago | (#40637069)

While Google do now have many cycle routes marked, I still prefer CycleStreets [cyclestreets.net] (which uses the same data as OpenCycleMap [opencyclemap.org] , i.e. OpenStreetMap). That gives a choice of three routes (fast, balanced, quiet), and has more cycling-related data on the map. Sometimes the routes can be a bit wiggly, but I think they're working on this.

However, it's great to see the cycle routes on Google, which will make them visible to lots of people -- hopefully those that don't realise their trip to the shops or work is faster by bicycle.

Both have problems OpenCycleMap gives me a track which is through deep mud on the way to work, but then correctly gives me a cycle track at the end. Google maps keeps me on less muddy routes but sends me down a dangerous dual carriageway when there is a cycle track as an alternative.

Re:CycleStreets is often better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40638043)

OpenCycleMap offers me a route that I know includes a locked gate, so isn't usable. Google suggests a route down a dangerous dual carriageway, so while viable it wouldn't be a good idea. It's getting there but at the moment I wouldn't trust either of them to suggest a route on roads I didn't know.

Re:CycleStreets is often better (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 2 years ago | (#40638107)

OpenCycleMap offers me a route that I know includes a locked gate, so isn't usable. Google suggests a route down a dangerous dual carriageway, so while viable it wouldn't be a good idea. It's getting there but at the moment I wouldn't trust either of them to suggest a route on roads I didn't know.

If the locked gate is on a right of way you are perfectly entitled to bring some bolt cutters and remove the lock

Re:CycleStreets is often better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40638241)

and if you're in the UK, report it to Sustrans if it's one of their routes, or your local council (it's the countryside division at mine) if it's a normal bridleway.

Re:CycleStreets is often better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40638253)

And if he happens to be wrong, he'll enjoy a few free nights chez taxpayer.

Re:CycleStreets is often better (1)

dkf (304284) | about 2 years ago | (#40638293)

If the locked gate is on a right of way you are perfectly entitled to bring some bolt cutters and remove the lock

But make sure you leave the lock hooked on the gate (or otherwise obviously associated with it) after opening it. After all, you don't want to be accused of theft. (Or, if there's a name and address on the lock, mail it to its owner saying that they must've "accidentally" left it somewhere and you're just returning it.)

Re:CycleStreets is often better (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 2 years ago | (#40639039)

If the locked gate is on a right of way you are perfectly entitled to bring some bolt cutters and remove the lock

But make sure you leave the lock hooked on the gate (or otherwise obviously associated with it) after opening it. After all, you don't want to be accused of theft. (Or, if there's a name and address on the lock, mail it to its owner saying that they must've "accidentally" left it somewhere and you're just returning it.)

Good point, also I should point out that if you can easily get around the obstruction you should do so (i.e. if there is another unlocked gate even if the rigt of way goes through the locked one), and you should cause the minimum damage necessary to be able to pass the obstruction - in other words if there is a £20 lock on a cheap chain, cut the chain!

Re:CycleStreets is often better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40640499)

The locked gate is onto what I think is private property, it used to be a factory and is now just undeveloped land. That wasn't really the point though, the point was that I wouldn't trust the software to give me a viable route,

Re:CycleStreets is often better (1)

AmberBlackCat (829689) | about 2 years ago | (#40641023)

Both have problems OpenCycleMap gives me a track which is through deep mud on the way to work, but then correctly gives me a cycle track at the end. Google maps keeps me on less muddy routes but sends me down a dangerous dual carriageway when there is a cycle track as an alternative.

But isn't it possible to create an OpenStreetMap account, find the muddy road, and add a "bicycle=no" tag? Google seems to take months to fix a problem reported with the map.

Re:CycleStreets is often better (1)

illtud (115152) | about 2 years ago | (#40645059)

Dunno about cycle route corrections, but google had a private track next to my house marked as a road (and would route along it) and I emailed them to point this out, and it was fixed within 24 hours. Just an anecdote.

Re:CycleStreets is often better (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 2 years ago | (#40637073)

And, while mobile, OSMAnd (also using OSM data) does a good job of providing cycling directions. Not sure about the rest of the UK, but in Cambridge the OSM data on cycle maps is vastly better than the Google data. It's a shame Google doesn't contribute to OSM rather than building their own inferior proprietary dataset.

Re:CycleStreets is often better (2)

ion++ (134665) | about 2 years ago | (#40637197)

CycleStreets ... gives a choice of three routes (fast, balanced, quiet)

http://www.openrouteservice.org/ [openrouteservice.org] gives 5 choices:

  • Shortest Track
  • Mountainbike
  • Racer
  • safest track
  • prefered cycleway

But I am still missing these, some in sliders and not just on/off.

  • no obstacles
  • cargo bike/trailer
  • velomobile
  • many street lights
  • no hills
  • no (red) lights

Re:CycleStreets is often better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40637549)

no (red) lights

Why? Cyclists never pay attention to traffic lights anyway.

Re:CycleStreets is often better (2)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | about 2 years ago | (#40639989)

no (red) lights

Why? Cyclists never pay attention to traffic lights anyway.

And motorists never pay attention to speed limits or cellphone/texting laws, never stop on red until at least tho seconds after the light turns red, nor do they ever come to a complete stop at stop signs. Point...?

Both have the daft idea ... (1)

Tim Ward (514198) | about 2 years ago | (#40637427)

... that it is sane to cycle down Rose Crescent.

Pinch of salt in either case, it seems to me.

Re:CycleStreets is often better (1)

Nevynxxx (932175) | about 2 years ago | (#40637547)

I just tried this and it's amazing! Thanks!

Re:CycleStreets is often better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40638851)

Just checked my route to and from work in Reading Berks and it is terrible - it not only tries to send me the wrong way through staples car park to avoid a roundabout it also takes a bizarre route through Newtown avoiding Liverpool Rd which is the signposted cycle route down to the canal towpath which gives a off road cycle route all the way to the town centre !!!!

Beta is an understatement

That's normal. (5, Funny)

nospam007 (722110) | about 2 years ago | (#40637075)

'The directions aim for safety rather than speed — for instance advising me to take a gentle route through the Park instead of speeding through the Hyde Park Corner underpass.'

That's not safety, it's because you were logged on, first, it knows you're a bad driver, second, it knows you're too fat and need the extra exercise.

Google maps India is awesome! (4, Informative)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 2 years ago | (#40637093)

In India the street and road names are not marked very prominently as they are in USA. Even those few street name plates/boards are likely to be covered posters touting everything from "Certificate in ANSYS CAD software in 30 days!" to latest offering by the local "Mega Star". Nor are the local customs of giving directions involve the cardinal directions. Very rarely you hear, "Take Subramxysjdjhd street North and then go east on Johnshdhs road". Often you will hear, "Take left after the Pillsjdj temple, and then a right after the Indian Bank. You will see a autorickshaw stand opposite to the transformer. Third house ..."

Last trip there, I was pleasantly surprised to see the maps.google.co.in giving directions based on landmarks and the street names were shown in fainter font. It had three or four "mode"s. Car, motorcycle/scooter, public transportation. It knew the bridge across Cauvery at Anaikkarai was closed for repairs. Granted, that bridge has been down for about six years. But none of the printed maps were more recent than six years. It was able to find a very new apartment complex near Chennai when even the local Electricity Board meter reader guy could not help us.

Of course there were some funny stuff. The Old Mahabalipuram Road, (three lanes up, three lanes down, center median toll road) was shown with same level of prominence as Pillaiyaar Koil Street that was barely wide enough to accommodate an autorickshaw. But this is great progress. I would strongly advice people to get a USB stick 3G service and carry a laptop and you can find things your own cabby or autorickshaw driver or even the electricity board meter reader guy does not know.

My brother was joking, "all these techies go to USA with dreams of working for Google. Then they get a job in Google and the assignment they get is to punch in the local town bus timings of their own rural home town! "

Not that great (2)

agentgonzo (1026204) | about 2 years ago | (#40637119)

Trying it out with a route from my house to a friend's, it takes me the 4.4 mile road route along the A36 rather than than the 5.6 mile route through the new forest that avoids the main road and is a peaceful cycle.

Putting my route to work in, it takes me along a main road rather than along the cycle-path that is about 10m parallel to the road for about a mile (that it has marked on it's maps but chooses to ignore).

Re:Not that great (1)

agentgonzo (1026204) | about 2 years ago | (#40637125)

The 1.3 mile route [goo.gl] where it ignores the cycle path completely (just to the north of Castle Lane, about 10m from the actual road)

Re:Not that great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40642713)

So you already arrived at the "braindead blob of meat who can't handle any tiniest kind of imaginary risk whatsoever" state...?

I MAKE MY OWN DECISIONS ABOUT IF I WANT TO GO FAST OR SAFE, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

Re:Not that great (1)

dasunt (249686) | about 2 years ago | (#40643799)

Trying it out with a route from my house to a friend's, it takes me the 4.4 mile road route along the A36 rather than than the 5.6 mile route through the new forest that avoids the main road and is a peaceful cycle. Putting my route to work in, it takes me along a main road rather than along the cycle-path that is about 10m parallel to the road for about a mile (that it has marked on it's maps but chooses to ignore).

When google first had bicycling directions for my city in the US, it had a few very screwed up routes. IIRC, some limited-access roads were considered bikeable. But you can report the errors on the website (or at least you used to be able), and they will fix it.

Google cycling directions tend to be fairly good. Not great, and not bad, but it really depends on the cyclist and their priorities.

Finally! (1)

tverbeek (457094) | about 2 years ago | (#40637153)

This is almost three decades late for me! The summer between high school and college, my friend Adam and I went on a 6-week bicycling tour of England, Wales, and Scotland, and all we had to plan our route was this huge piece of folded paper. We made a whole lot of bad route choices, but somehow we made it!

Does it help them get out of the way? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40637231)

Or maybe it helps line them up in the cross-hairs (aka Mercedes hood ornament). That's OK too. Remember, cyclists are worth double points on Thursdays.

Mod parent troll (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | about 2 years ago | (#40640001)

Dickhead.

As the joke about the Irish taxi driver goes... (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 2 years ago | (#40641679)

Well they're out of adjustment, you'd have missed that fecker if I hadn't opened the door!

Re:Does it help them get out of the way? (1)

MrHanky (141717) | about 2 years ago | (#40643959)

Why do the dumb and dangerous drivers insist on driving German cars?

I am impressed (4, Insightful)

Peter H.S. (38077) | about 2 years ago | (#40637287)

I have played around with it for 10 minutes and have already found several alternative routes for my new cycling commute route, some even shorter than my current route.
The "Streetview" feature combined with this new cycling route planning feature makes Google maps really awesome.

I think exercising like running is totally boring, but somehow how cycling is different to me, it is just some much fun. Commuting to work is a blast; I arrive fresh, awake, full of energy, and with a smile on my face. Commuting home is nice too; I can unwind stress by going fast, so when I arrive home I am just relaxed. Endorphin rush is probably part of this good feeling, but my blood pressure and rest heart rate have improved a lot since I started cycling again.

Re:I am impressed (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40637555)

The "Streetview" feature combined with this new cycling route planning feature makes Google maps really awesome.

Sure! Particularly when it ignores an entire 10-mile cycle-only path that has been included in OpenStreetMap since it was opened.

So, let's try to inform the Beta^W Awesome Google of their "minor" oversight:

"We're sorry, it seems that your computer is making automated submissions"

Splendid! That'll be called a corporate proxy, Google.

Forget this, I'm going back to osm.org.

Fix this bug instead! (1)

T-Bone-T (1048702) | about 2 years ago | (#40637363)

I wonder if anybody else has my problem. Whenever I search for a business in my town that either isn't listed or doesn't have a location in my town Google points out a location that is often hundreds or thousands of miles away. For example, searching for Applebee's brings up one that is 1,500 miles away. I would understand if it showed the closest Applebee's or at least said it couldn't find one nearby but, so far, a nonsensical result seems to be the primary indication that there isn't one nearby.

Re:Fix this bug instead! (1)

u38cg (607297) | about 2 years ago | (#40639185)

Are you going in through the right country top level? maps.google.com gives me stuff from the US unless I use maps.google.co.uk.

My friend Mr Pither (1)

ricosalomar (630386) | about 2 years ago | (#40637385)

Wonders how accurate the maps of Cornwall are.

Re:My friend Mr Pither (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40638015)

You've got the wrong map there - this is Stalingrad.

You wouldn't have had much fun in Stalingrad...

Re:My friend Mr Pither (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 2 years ago | (#40641761)

Not much fun in Stalingrad, no.

Classes of cyclists (2)

OhHellWithIt (756826) | about 2 years ago | (#40638729)

I don't know about the new cycling directions in the U.K., but Google's cycling directions in the U.S. are pretty pitiful from my perspective, tending to guide one toward cycle paths and ignoring perfectly usable streets and roads. The problem is that cyclists' preferences are widely divergent. What may be an acceptable road for me, because I am used to riding in traffic, is unacceptable to someone who is overly afraid of cars and believes he is safer on the sidewalk (despite statistics to the contrary). The other web sites mentioned above are probably much more useful; meanwhile, I will just continue to choose the car route and then drag the route away from roads that look to be too unsafe or unpleasant.

Re:Classes of cyclists (1)

green1 (322787) | about 2 years ago | (#40639573)

Google offers cycle directions where I am as well (Canada) and my big problem is that I ride a road bike, and it often picks gravel roads and dirt paths. I love paved bike paths, but riding on gravel/dirt/mud is quite difficult when your tires are only about 2cm wide or less.

Re:Classes of cyclists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40640069)

What may be an acceptable road for me, because I am used to riding in traffic, is unacceptable to someone who is overly afraid of cars and believes he is safer on the sidewalk (despite statistics to the contrary).

Any sources of these statistics? I ride in traffic too but I think of it as of calculated risk.

so I'm not the only one (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | about 2 years ago | (#40646045)

Also US, also have that problem. (as I said in another comment, I sometimes adjust walking or driving directions, chiefly to adjust the time estimates to bicycle speed)
I often ride in the shoulder if possible, so it matters whether the road has one, how wide it is and how clear it is. I don't think bike directions account for this.

Google Directions (1)

Greyfox (87712) | about 2 years ago | (#40639181)

I'm always amused when I'm plotting satellites on Google Earth. I'm lazy and plop down a generic KML placemark, and when you click on it, you're offered "Directions to here". Alas, two very important steps are omitted from the directions: 1) Go backward in time because the satellite is going at 4000 miles per second and has moved a considerable distance in the time it took you to read the directions and 2) The last step should be "Go 12000 miles straight up".

Almost there in Paris, France (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40639209)

Seems like they haven't yet activated it in France. If you go to maps.google.fr, the bike option doesn't show in the Itinerary tool. If you go to maps.google.com, however, the bike button does show... but itineraries can't be planned yet. However, the maps does show portions of streets in green, which match with bike lanes.

Come on Google, I've waited for this for years now. Don't forget to add it to your iPhone app as well (where a "path record" button would be sweeet)

YES! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40639807)

All 3 routes given avoid the steep, twisty, tight road that those Iron-man-wanna-be try to get themselves run over during rush hour on. Excellent.

Safety? Not so much.

Route still includes stop signs, which I'm pretty sure are invisible to people on bicycles.

Re:YES! (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | about 2 years ago | (#40640017)

All 3 routes given avoid the steep, twisty, tight road that those Iron-man-wanna-be try to get themselves run over during rush hour on. Excellent.

Safety? Not so much.

Route still includes stop signs, which I'm pretty sure are invisible to people on bicycles.

Well they must be made of the same material as speed limit signs that seem to be invisible to motorists.

Needs route ratings (1)

HW_Hack (1031622) | about 2 years ago | (#40640713)

I like this service, but I would like to be able to pick different routes based on your riding style:

- Beginner
- Traffic Timid
- Intermediate
- Confident
- Advanced
- Overly Confident
- Pro Rider
- Kamikaze

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