The NY Times’ Practical Traveler had a piece this week on Google’s ongoing effort to include biking routes in Google Maps. Thankfully Eugene is one of the 200 cities included. For the purposes of BikeInShapes, we have continued to use the walking function for two reasons. (1) The biking function cannot be embedded in links yet and (2) it is still easier to draw a specific shape accurately in the walking function. However, this ease derives from Google programming the biking function to prefer routes with non-traffic bike paths, even if it is not quite as direct. Below is an example comparing a straight walk (above) and bike ride (below) on 11th Avenue. The bike route veers south to capture some of the Fern Ridge path. Generally, this preferable for a biker:
So the message to Google Maps: great start but add embedding capability to the biking function.
Also the article lists several good map route creation resources which we will link to on the right panel.