There was a time when going out the door and planning which route you were going to take was a bit of a guessing game. In those days of old, you were clueless about whether the route you planned on taking would prove to be the best or if it would be overran in traffic. Sure, there have always been radio stations with traffic reports, but life is so much more convenient when you can just flip on your smartphone and get real-time traffic information delivered directly to you.
This is exactly what Google has been doing since 2007, though only for a very limited thirty cities. Since then, Google has expanded its live traffic reports throughout much of the world, adding coverage to places like New Zealand, Belarus, Latvia, Mexico and many others.
Google has been doing a lot recently to make its Maps service even better, announcing upcoming features including 3D maps and an offline mode. Not content to just stop there, Google has begun aggressively expanding it’s live traffic range, which recently has included adding live traffic to many cities across the globe in countries such as Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Russia, France, Germany, Italy and the UK. The biggest piece of the announcement has to do with the U.S., where more than 130 smaller cities, such as Portland, Maine, or Tuscaloosa, Alabama, are getting the Google live traffic treatment in the most recent expansion.
This is just the beginning, as each year, more and more users will get their hands on Android devices and make use of Google Maps. The more users it has, the more accurate the picture Google is able to paint when it comes to traffic in major and minor cities worldwide.
Do you have Google Maps live traffic data in your area? If so, what do you think of the service offered by it?