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!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags analyticsInternet-based applications and servicesconsumer electronicsGoogleMapsinternetsearch engines

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

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?