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Google quietly adds elevations for bikers routes in Maps

Google has quietly introduced a new feature for many places in its popular Google Maps, where the cyclists can know the approximate elevations that comes on their way.

Image credit: TechCrunch

By adding elevations in Google Maps, the search giant brought the new important feature for cyclists. Now that the bikers can learn about the height of the hill that comes on their way ahead, so that they can decide whether to continue the journey or not. Cyclists can also find an alternate straight path if they don’t want to face the arbitrary hill climb task.

Henceforth, Google Maps will show the elevations on their bike routes, but it won’t take your bike to the top of the hill – it just shows. The update has been rolled out to both Android and iOS version of Google Maps and you can try it right now. Google hasn’t made the official announcement yet, regarding the new elevation statistics to help bikers to find the altitude of a steep hills on their route. Meanwhile, Google has confirmed about the new addition to the popular tech and startup blog TechCrunch.

We can see that Google had tried to provide more helpful features to cyclists in its history, such as addition of GPS functionality few years back. But the elevations statistics seems to be bigger than the GPS functionality.

In order to use the new feature, Bikers has to select a route on Google Maps, where it will automatically find a direction for your destinations. If your app has been updated with new feature, then it will show the descent and elevation that comes en-route. Google Maps will not only show the graphical representation of the hill, but also shows statistics in numbers that includes heights, altitudes. It will give you an approximate (almost accurate!) picture of the height and length of the route before reaching the top of the hill and descent in another side of the hill.

And if you are riding through a flat route, Google Maps will not show the elevations statistics. As TechCrunch reported, initially, the new feature will be available in 14 countries – US, Canada, UK, Finland, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Netherlands, Norway and New Zealand.

Google is working hard to transit its apps with many new features. Last year, the company has added the real-time views to Google Maps and earlier this month, it has added offline support to GMaps. Google integrates Uber taxi service maps and Local business search has been improved, recently. By the way, Google is still far ahead in mapping services against Apple and Nokia’s similar applications and the new feature update is an added advantage for its end users.

In March 2014, Google updated its app for iOS with single sign-on and background sync. You should also brace yourself, as the company is reportedly transforming its all applications to meet the requirements of rumored “Google 2” project, starting with Gmail’s new look and features.

About John W Arthur

John is the head of our IT Security team and he writes about Security, IT news on The Next Digit. He was the Employee of the Year 2013 for his selfless support and efficiently setting up the whole security infrastructure. He also occasionally writes on "IT Sec Pro" Print Media of Sweden. All posts by John


  1. Made the mistake of using Google Maps several times on a cross ountry bicycle trip last fall. What a joke! I can only imagine how screwed up this latest version of Google Maps is.

  2. Interesting app, if it actually works. Hopefully, it performs better than an IT tech who doesn't know the difference between 'descend' and 'descent'. One is a verb, the other is a noun. Both relate to elevation but they're not interchangeable. NOT the way to impress readers.

  3. How so?? Just curious…

  4. Hey… just because we, as loaded tourers, one with COPD, didn't fit the norm for cyclists (those wanting to be off busy roads and not minding hills), that doesn't make the product bad. Don't blame the tool that we tried to use by misapplying it to our situation… that was our fault! I would think you would be lauding Google for this important elevation improvement! We shouldn't write off and badmouth what people have done to try to help others because of user error! Our user error! Granted, Google Maps isn't perfect… could they possibly be?

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