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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Useful Internet Application!

posted by on July 22 at 16:35 PM

Besides driving and public transit, Google Maps now has a walking application, which would have been immensely useful back when I was Party Crashing. Speaking as someone who will gladly walk from Capitol Hill to the U District if I have the time, this is the best Google App I’ve seen in a while.

Here’s the map for a generic Capitol Hill starting point to Discovery Park, which is listed as being 6.5 miles, a distance of “about 2 hours 13 mins.” It seems like a fairly decent route, too.


RSS icon Comments


Myrtle Edwards->Pier 91 trail->Government Way FTW...

Why climb the Magnolia Bridge if you don't have to?

Posted by Walk It Out | July 22, 2008 4:39 PM

awesome. Now all we need is a "by bike" option. Hopefully gas prices hold up and help us out on that.

Posted by anoymonday | July 22, 2008 4:44 PM

awesome. now all we need is a "by bike" option. Hopefully gas prices stay up and help us out on that.

Posted by anonymonday | July 22, 2008 4:45 PM

Send Peter Gabriel This News:

I found some of the BIG SENATORIAL NAME recognitions in Rolling Stone Magazine.

I've caught some of the IP address on this computer also as it booted up...

Turn up the signal...wipe out the noise>

Posted by daniel bennett kieneker | July 22, 2008 4:48 PM

The I-5 overpass from Lakeview to Eastlake is such a strange walking, environment, as is walking along the Mercer/Broad/Valley mess. It's hard to tell from the map, but does this route take you under Aurora on that awful narrow sidewalk that pops you out at the Duck ride/EMP?

Posted by two shoes | July 22, 2008 4:49 PM

So does this mean they'll be factoring walking time into their bus routes? I'm sick of them suggesting a route that starts with ten minutes of walking to catch a bus that leaves in four.

Posted by Ben | July 22, 2008 4:53 PM

It doesn't seem to recognize pedestrian/bicycle paths (either p/b preferred paths or non-car paths), which is mighty unfortunate. But otherwise, it does a great job on the routes I fed it.

Posted by Cow | July 22, 2008 5:07 PM

That's a long walk.

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | July 22, 2008 5:12 PM

Now they need to figure in whether or not there are curb ramps for those of us in wheelchairs. Otherwise, sounds like a good option.

Posted by Silverstar98121 | July 22, 2008 5:16 PM

Um, sorry not cheerleading...

why would you turn inland on 29th or 34th (BORING!) instead of following Mag. Blvd. and enjoying the spectacular views?
To be closer to the parking lot that this trail seems to end at? When obviously people generally want to go to the bluffs?

Westlake-Nickerson also seems shorter and gets you out of the trafficky route this application has chosen.

Posted by PC | July 22, 2008 5:25 PM

So useful you couldn't bother linking to it? Not that I don't have Google Maps bookmarked, but . . . c'mon!

Posted by Ziggity | July 22, 2008 5:28 PM

Yay! This is what I've been waiting for! And as with any Google map, use with your own common sense.

Posted by Catman | July 22, 2008 5:29 PM

Could you put in a link for this? I'd like to play with it, but I can't seem to find the application.

Posted by MEC | July 22, 2008 5:31 PM

Or go to Google and click the 'Maps' link.

Posted by Greg | July 22, 2008 5:40 PM

See, I like the idea, but yeah, an integral part of a good 'walk mapper' would be some sense of what streets are pleasant to walk on. I just mapped a route from Beacon Hill to SODO, and it involves more time on Airport Way than I would ever care to spend on foot. It would be tough to solve this without massive data input, but. . . couldn't they use some kind of wiki-esque thing to let people . . . I don't know, sort of rate roads by how walker-friendly they are?

Posted by violet_dagrinder | July 22, 2008 5:52 PM


You have to actually ask for directions first, and then when they come up you can choose between driving, transit, and walking.

Posted by violet_dagrinder | July 22, 2008 5:54 PM

Wait for low tide and walk the beach.

Posted by DOUG. | July 22, 2008 6:37 PM

Paul Constant, I'm seriously kind of falling in love with you, but I don't live in Seattle.

Posted by Andy | July 22, 2008 6:45 PM

I was so excited! So I went to Google maps, got directions, and saw ... only the "Public Transit" option. I wondered what you were smoking, but tried directions for Seattle, and there the walking directions were. I wonder how many different places are covered, and when Orange County, California will be covered. Probably never. :-( Ah, well, I don't plan on staying here forever.

Posted by Enuja | July 22, 2008 7:09 PM

Speaking of walking, how bad are other cities that Seattle got such a high pedestrian rating? Apart from the fact that every construction site seems to get some kind of permission (an "easement"?) to take over the sidewalk and summarily shunt pedestrians across the street with no warning, there's the way the cops drive in this town. Just now I almost got hit by a guy driving strangely in an orange taxicab on Pike. First he was parked with no lights blinking or anything in the turning lane in front of one of the car dealers. Then, as I'd almost finished crossing my side street he punched it and arrived in the side street's righthand lane simultaneously with me. Every indication of running me over. Suddenly he was there, coming right at me. I literally leaped out of my shoes, then started shouting profanity and kicked his headlight. Meanwhile, the driver of the cab just sat there with a frozen face.

It made no sense, until I remembered seeing that type of driving, and exactly that type of driving, once before: when a cop at a light on the corner of Broadway & Pine once for no apparent reason cut off an old lady with a walker who was crossing legally and on a very short light. Gave every indication that he was going to run her over, until she creaked to a stop in the middle of the street and he was able to drive through against his traffic light. No lights, no sirens.

Goddamn it, I'm mad. Still shaking. A guy who saw the whole thing said to me, "well, they come over here, can't drive, etc.," but in my experience the best educated most interesting Seattlites have been the taxi drivers from the Horn of Africa. This damn cop is not only running over pedestrians, he's giving entire local immigrant communities and Orange Cab a bad name.

Posted by Amelia | July 22, 2008 7:17 PM

Ah Ha! You can trick it. I can get walking directions in Orange County by first getting walking directions in Seattle and then putting the addresses I'm interested in into the search. It's interesting; the time is about right, and the directions rightly avoided one stretch of road (that has a bike lane, but no sidewalk and VERY fast cars with merge lanes) while taking me on another high-speed no sidewalk route. I does appear not to know how to walk through parks, at least in Orange County, because the way I walk goes through a large park. Google Earth does have the paths in the park mapped as roads and labeled, but Google Maps doesn't, so of course it can't route me that way.

Posted by Enuja | July 22, 2008 7:20 PM

@5: I'm going to assume that one uses Denny to get from Capitol Hill to lower Queen Anne. You can only get across the I-5 overpass on the left side of the street heading westbound, but it's still a direct route without any strange detours.

Posted by RainMan | July 22, 2008 7:32 PM

"Useful internet application"


You mean pr0n isn't good enough for you?

Posted by NapoleonXIV | July 22, 2008 8:36 PM

@22, ah, thank you RainMan! I've been wondering how that could work...

Posted by two shoes | July 22, 2008 8:43 PM

@2 not that I'm a supporter of online petition, but about 40,000 have signed the Google Maps 'Bike There' Feature Request petition.

and of course, little Portland has had such a site for a long time:

Posted by stinkbug | July 22, 2008 9:12 PM


ooh! that's a fun little trick.

Cleveland to Seattle - 35 days 12 hours.

Posted by pain | July 22, 2008 11:18 PM

I use Google transit ALL the time. It takes walking time into account, so if the fastest option is to simply walk the result will not even include a bus route. Google transit only features Metro (not Pierce or Community Transit systems).

2) Directions
3) select Transit

Posted by Erik | July 23, 2008 12:18 AM

Ha! It doesn't think anyone can walk across I-90 to get to Bellevue. I did the trick and it says I need to walk around the south end of Lake Washington , and doesn't think there's a way to walk to Mercer Island.

Posted by NaFun | July 23, 2008 7:43 AM

Why would anyone use Google Transit over

Posted by Levislade | July 23, 2008 8:26 AM

@22, I only use denny when I'm in a hurry. It is the most direct route to anything surrounding it, but aside from right on westlake ave, it isn't a pretty walk at all.

Posted by crk on bellevue ave | July 23, 2008 9:15 AM

@29: It's prettier and it shows a map. I like for a much faster way to use metro's trip planner.

Posted by girlgerms | July 23, 2008 10:06 AM

Does this service include things like cutting through alleys or across parking lots?

I sure could have used this service when I could walk. Like Silverstar, I use a wheelchair and wish Google can tell me if there are usable sidewalks that a wheelchair can use, rather than having to go out into the street. Some sidewalks are completely unusable. Some are too narrow, haven't been fixed since the Nisqually Earthquake, or have tree roots pushing the concrete slabs into Stonehenge like monoliths.

Perso nal complaint aside, I do like the service and hope they add it to Google Earth.

Posted by elswinger | July 23, 2008 12:16 PM

Oh, just tried a walk I do all the time, but it sent me out of the way a little to go up and over a brutal hill, although that is technically the simplest way to go. At least it chose to ignore the one way streets, which is a good indication it knows something about the terrain.

I hope this gets refined and built upon, could be pretty cool.

And yes, a bike map app would be very cool.

Posted by Dougsf | July 23, 2008 12:47 PM

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