The Daily Feed, We Green DC

Now, Get There by Bike with Google Maps

Photo courtesy of

courtesy of ‘Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie’

Today at the National Bike Summit going on at the Reagan Building, Google Maps announced it is now giving directions by bike.

The new feature includes step-by-step bicycling directions; bike trails outlined directly on the map; and a new “Bicycling” layer that indicates bike trails, bike lanes, and bike-friendly roads.

Time estimates for routes are based on an algorithm that takes into account variables such as the length of the route, the number of hills, and fatigue over time…maybe doughnuts eaten over the winter, too?

You can find it at, or from the “get directions” drop-down menu.

Essential DC, The Daily Feed, WMATA

Metro Tops Google

Photo courtesy of
‘camera bag on shoulder tripod’
courtesy of ‘philliefan99′

Kudos to Michael Perkins over at Greater Greater Washington: from his efforts and many, many other Metro riders, WMATA is finally going to release schedule and routing info into the open Google Transit Feed Specification format by March 23. They announced this last night at the DC Council oversight hearing for WMATA.

According to WMATA’s Facebook page, we the public will be able to download bus and rail schedule and route info from Metro’s website. The data will be freely available to all who agree to their terms of use. The data released will be the exact same data that feeds Metro’s online Trip Planner…and Metro reserves the right to withdraw the data if necessary.

So in the end, this “punt” by Catoe and Co is actually better than the failed Google deal, as this allows anyone to use that data. Who knows, maybe we’ll see a Facebook application utilizing it in the future…