Yesterday, Google launched a beta feature called “walking directions” on Google Maps. While the directions are limited to routes shorter than 6.2 miles (or 10 kilometers), they provide a few useful advantages for walkers over regular driving directions. First, the walking directions ignore the direction of one-way streets. Second, it supposedly takes into account terrain, giving pedestrians a more flat and walkable route when possible.
Google acknowledges that the feature is clearly in beta, even adding this warning: “Use caution when walking in unfamiliar areas.” It’s obvious from a quick query on walking from the Ferry Building to Organic San Francisco that Google must not know the layout of the sidewalks around the Embarcadero Plaza, or it might have given me a slightly more direct route. Hopefully, they will be adding more information about sidewalks, pedestrian bridges, traffic, and even crime statistics.
Another feature missing that seems like a given is that there are no walking directions on Google Maps various mobile versions. This feature would be far more useful than its online counterpart, so you would assume it is a feature on it’s way. Then again, I’ve always assumed the same thing about Google My Maps, and I have yet to see results.
July 23rd, 2008
Google Maps Adds Walking Directions
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