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Google Maps now features elevation profiles for cycling routes

May 18, 2014
Cycling in the city

“Cycling is the new golf,” according to CNN Money. While biking has long been a combination of leisure activity, sport and a practical means to get around town, cycling has now turned into an event for business people to get together. According to The Economist, a growing number of city cycling clubs and corporate-sponsored charity bike rides are bringing together like-minded professionals and enthusiasts alike.

Whether you’re cycling for fun, as a challenge, to go around the city, or to mingle with fellow cyclists, you might be using apps like Google Maps to track your route. But even if Maps offers distance and time estimates, the map representation is usually only in 2D. Fortunately, with the latest Google Maps update, the navigation platform provides more than just directions and duration. The addition of elevation profiles will surely come as a benefit to cyclists, who can now better gauge the difficulty of their ride, particularly with steep inclines.

Maps Biking

The feature is yet to be announced, although it already supports 14 countries to date. Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Finland, Great Britain, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Sweden and the US. In essence, Google Maps will offer a graphical representation of hills and other obstacles. Maps will also show you how many feet you will need to climb or descent along your route.

Notably, Maps will not show any of these information or new graphics when the route is flat.It seems, however, that the feature is only available on the web for now and is not implemented on the mobile Maps app yet. But knowing how many of the exciting features on Google Maps come out as mobile-optimized ones, then elevation information is likely to come to Android and other mobile platforms in the near future.