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Google Maps rolls out trail and street directions for cyclists

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(Read caption) A cyclist crosses the Brooklyn Bridge. Starting today, Google Maps will feature a biking layer, where users can plan their route according to the grade of the hills or the level of traffic congestion.

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On Wednesday morning, Google added bike directions and trail information to Google Mapsa long-awaited functionality that product manager Shannon Guymon said would "encourage folks to hop on their bikes." By selecting the "Bicycling" layer on Google Maps, cyclists can now see the closest trails and bike lanes in area, or plan around particularly congested urban arteries and calf-busting hill climbs.

For this committed commuter, the best thing about the Google bike maps is the feedback option. Let's say the bike lane on main street is now obstructed by spill-over from a nearby construction site. When Google Map Maker eventually hits the US, you'll be able to pop onto Google Maps, and make other cyclists aware of the problem. For now, you can use the "Report a Problem" tool to let Google know what it got wrong.


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