Google Maps adds elevation data for cyclists braving the hills

Maps on the desktop now shows elevation gains through a new graphical display

Google Maps now includes elevation data for bike routes, like the one pictured here from Amoeba Music in San Francisco to Google HQ in Mountain View.

Google Maps now includes elevation data for bike routes, like the one pictured here from Amoeba Music in San Francisco to Google HQ in Mountain View.

Google has quietly added elevation data to bike routes in its Maps service, providing better intel for intrepid cyclists.

The feature, which launched Friday, seems to work for much of the U.S. and Canada. Google says Maps already factored in elevation when determining routes for cyclists, but until now the elevation data wasn't made easily visible.

Type in an origin and destination for biking, and the service now displays a graphical representation of the route's elevation. Drag the cursor along the chosen route and the graphic shows the elevation changes at any given point. The total elevation change is also displayed.

The feature seems to work for any distance. Even a bike route from Portland, Oregon, to Portland, Texas, showed the elevation gain: more than 57,000 feet.

Google declined to comment further about the feature, first reported by Tech Crunch.

As of now the elevation data is displayed only on the desktop version of Maps, though it might come to the mobile Maps apps later.

Bikers who want that sort of data have other apps to choose from, such as Altimeter+ and Get Altitude.

It's not clear where Google is getting its elevation data from, though it could be an integration with its own Elevation API. That software kit provides elevation data for all locations on the surface of the Earth, Google says, including depths on the ocean floor. Bikers probably won't be using Maps for underwater rides, though.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags internetGooglesearch enginesanalyticsconsumer electronicsInternet-based applications and servicesMaps

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?