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May 22, 2005

Interactive online bicycle mapping tool debuts in Oakland

This is cool. :-)

As part of its program to spread the word that bicycling is a viable commuting choice, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission of Oakland, Ca., in April added an interactive online bicycle mapping tool to its popular Cycling Web site. The free 511 BikeMapper(SM) service contains maps of all existing off-street bicycle paths, on-street bike lanes and designated bike routes in the whole 9 county Bay Area, and it allows cyclists to specify where they want to ride to, see what bikeways are available in the specific areas, and print the map, or maps, they might need.

A link to the website now appears in my California Route Info section.

The things this tool allows you to do are quite interesting.

The 511 BikeMapper(SM) is part of a nationwide trend toward online bicycle
mapping and is the first one-stop resource for bicycling maps that cover the
entire nine-county Bay Area. The 511 BikeMapper(SM) does not automatically
determine the best route or provide turn-by-turn directions. Rather, it
displays bike paths, bike lanes and bike routes within areas you specify -- by
city, zip code or address -- and provides tools to interact with the map and
to print maps yourself. This allows you to see all available options and
decide for yourself which route to take for bike trips.
    Among the innovative features of the 511 BikeMapper(SM) is a "Show Slope" option that allows users to identify hilly portions of bike routes with grades of 5 percent or more. Varying slopes are identified by color. The 511
BikeMapper(SM) database encompasses more than 3,000 miles of bicycle paths, on-street bike lanes and local streets that are designated as bike routes.

That last must be for those who don't want the fun of being suprised on an afternoon ride hither, and yon. :-D

There are plans to add more info as more of the cities in the counties  take stock of just what they have to offer in bicycle facilities, and as new trails, and routes are created.

It is being stressed that computer users  can play an important part in fine-tuning the database.

"We've carefully screened the information, but it's a brand new product. So a few inaccuracies could still turn up. We're urging BikeMapper(SM) users to e-mail us if they have a correction or addition, and to check back with http://www.511.org for periodic updates."  The e-mail address for 511 BikeMapper(SM) feedback is bikemapper-@-mtc.ca.gov.

Full Story on PR Newswire: 511 Service Adds Online Bicycle Mapping.

May 22, 2005 in We Got Maps! | Permalink

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Comments

What a great idea. I'd like to see someone start a site that is strictly devoted to sharing information about bike routes. I live near Chicago and bike to work regularly. I have my route and I have some proven strategies for dealing with some of the problems one faces biking along my route. It would be nice to be able to share that. Moreover, I'm thinking about getting into touring and how cool it would be to have convenient access to various cyclists' notes and recommendations on various routes.

Posted by: Pat L | May 23, 2005 1:50:12 PM

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