Last week, Google announced a new mapping feature that offers travel directions specifically for cyclists. Google Bike Maps is designed to guide users toward routes with bicycle lanes, while helping them avoid steep inclines. But early reviews suggest the app is plagued by flaws — some potentially "fatal." Is Bike Maps a hazard?
Bike Maps could kill you: During tests in New York City, says Lachlan Carwright in the New York Post, Bike Maps led us the wrong way down one-way streets, up "truck-riddled thoroughfares" and down "off-limits" paths through Central Park. Obviously, "Google has a lot to learn."
"Google gives city bikers bum steer"
Let's not exaggerate: Sure Google Bike maps has some kinks, says Jared Newman in PC World, but anything that makes it easier to avoid relying on a car is a good idea. Our one complaint: The service has no "mobile app" component, so pedal pushers "have to print your maps out before you grab your helmet." That's awfully inconvenient.
"Google Maps for biking: Where's the mobile app?"
Flaws aside, Google Bike Maps is still best of breed: Serious bikers who already knows the best routes around their cities will find it redundant, says Rob Pegoraro in the Washington Post. But for "the target audience" — inexperienced cyclists "who may not realize how many short trips are easily done on two wheels instead of four" — Google's service beats its competitors.
"Google adds bicycle directions to Google Maps"