Google have recently added walking directions to the Directions feature on Google Maps.
This is a nice addition, and of course its early days, but does throw up some interesting results. The post says “If you’re going 10 km or less (some call this 6.2 miles)”, but if you want to test it out on longer routes, just add &dirflg=w to the url (use the “Link to this Page” link to get a link for the current map), and it does work!
Luckily it knows to avoid using the Motorway (phew!), but it still does favour bigger roads as noted here. Hopefully with time it can pickup on the shortest route rather than the ‘quickest’ which is generally what is used for driving.
I wonder if we will ever get to the point that it includes public footpaths here in the UK? (maybe it will via OSM?) – and as a refinement it could favour known ‘long distance footpaths’ …