Google Maps adds bike routes for Europe, Australia – take a trip through the Swedish countryside!

Back in 2010 we added biking directions for users of Google Maps in the US and Canada. Helping cyclists navigate the bike trails throughout those countries proved hugely popular, so we’re wheelie excited to announce that starting today, we’ve also added extensive biking data to Google Maps for Austria, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. In many of these countries we are also enabling biking directions in beta mode.

We know how popular cycling is in many parts of the world, so we wanted to include as much bike trail data as possible to provide efficient routes, allow riders to customize their trips, make use of bike lanes, calculate rider-friendly routes that avoid big hills and busy roads and to customize the look of the cycling map to encourage people to hop on their bikes. So that’s exactly what we’ve done.

If you’re keen to start riding into work, or maybe just do your bit for the environment by swapping your car for a bike a couple of days a week, biking directions can help you find a convenient route that makes use of dedicated bike lanes and avoids hills whenever possible.

 

Source: Google Lat Long Blog – Biking directions expands into Europe and Australia

Before, after, and a year later – satellite images of the devastation from the Japanese tsunami

On the 1-year anniversary of the earthquake/tsunami that hit Japan, Google Maps updated its imagery all along the coast. This included side-by-side shots of two specific regions, the Shiogama Port and the Sanriku Bridge.

The photos are: years before, days after, one month after, and a year after.

The devastation is incredible, but so is the recovery.

 

Shiogama Port, Miyagi

 

Bridge of Minami Sanriku Town, Miyagi