Thats a mighty long way!

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’ …

Update: GEarthBlog also points out that can use my multi direction to KML tool, to view walking directions in Google Earth! Thanks Frank!

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3 Responses to “Thats a mighty long way!”

  1. Greg Rose says:

    Yes, this is exciting as it is an example of a company using NAVTEQ Discover Cities data. NAVTEQ is the company with the map data for pedestrians, and it is good to see that Google is taking advantage of this data to enhance their maps. You can read more about the NAVTEQ Discover Cities here…

  2. Thomas Wood says:

    According to Ed Parsons (via OSM), Google has looked at OSM data, but the licence is currently incompatible.

  3. Barry says:

    Yes, not talking in the short term, but OSM is looking at the database licences* which will hopefully allow more adoption. :)

    * or some other licence more suitable that CC (in particular the vague nature of SA)