Google Maps Has Invented Bicycling

I never understood why Google maps didn’t give elevation data (topographical) and level of effort required for a route. Used to be a thing I tweeted about from time to time.

It’s literally the thing every hiker or biker knows to look for when they look at a map.

San Francisco, for example, would have routes from Google that went straight up or down 18% grade hills because direct, yet that’s not at all how anyone really wants to walk, bike or even drive.

Fast forward to 2021 and Google has announced… “eco-friendly routes“.

In typical Google tone-deaf fashion this is entirely backwards. These are not eco-friendly routes, these are routes. They are the norm for anyone who has ever pushed a pedal or taken a step. I’d even say they are the norm for anyone who actually looks at their fuel consumption or brake pads as line items.

Google should instead make them the default and then put a “crow flies” or even a “high cost” moniker on routes that are more straight-line yet far more inefficient.

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