Monday, August 27, 2007

Google Meet Portland. Portland, Google.

How cool is this? Google maps now includes bus stop information. Click here for the Central Library in Portland. Zoom in, choose either street map or hybrid view, and see the little white and blue icons for bus, train, or streetcar.

I've known for a while that Google was incorporating mass transit into its offerings. Portland was the first according to this article. Now Google Transit includes 17 cities. I haven't used it though, as I either use the phone to find out when the next bus is coming, or I use Trimet.org to plan my trip.

With it incorporated into the maps feature now, I know I'll use this more often. The best thing about Google is the one-stop usability of it. Plug anything into the google toolbar, and you can get the weather, local phone listings, maps, as well as websites. Now with this map I can click on the little icon...go ahead and do it...and find out when the next bus is due. I can do that from the Trimet site, but not via the map like that. What Google is still missing though is an interface with Transit Tracker, the real time estimate of the next bus arrival.

I suppose it will be awhile before Portland gets Google's street level maps. Combine that with the bus stops, and you could know exactly where your unfamiliar bus trip is going to take you.

1 comment:

Dan Harrelson said...

Heidi, this is a very cool feature. The transit information was incorporated into the core Maps product back in May and was a global change.

http://www.danharrelson.com/2007/05/15/transit-icons-on-google-maps/

I agree that "streetview" to see what a station actually looks like would be terrific!