Google today announced that their browser-based Maps will be including bicycling directions, on top of existing car, public transit and walking directions. Dedicated bike paths are in dark green, while bike-friendly routes are marked in light green, and passable ones are dotted green lines. While bicycle directions are restricted to those visiting maps.google.com for now, the press release says rather distinctly that “a mobile version is planned”. How long that will take, exactly, is anybody’s guess. Considering all of the data is being implemented as a separate layer, a mechanism already supported by BlackBerry, S60, and Windows Mobile, one would assume it wouldn’t be hard to do.
Google has already done a lot for navigation and directions on mobile, most recently with Navigation on Android, which managed to single-handedly destroy the traditional PND market. The bicycle directions feature is more in tune with Google’s numerous green initiatives, and given their recently-relaunched philanthropy site, I think we can expect more eco-centric mobile apps in the future.
[via Official Google Blog]