Google has always prided itself on Maps, a tool it has invested a lot of money in and which has also cost the company quite a bit in fines due to the whole Street View scandal.Regardless, the company has continued to build the app, to provide helpful information to all users around the world. The latest addition is meant to help British citizens that often travel by public transport.
More specifically, Google has added about 17,000 routes and 34,000 stopping points in what’s going to be one of the largest mapping efforts related to the public transportation in the United Kingdom. The list includes buses, trains, ferries, trams, and subways, reports The Guardian.
“In Britain, public transport is part of the national psyche. The biggest changes will be on mobile, as devices are becoming more and more powerful and they're things we spend a lot of time with. We're aiming to really improve users' lives,” said David Tattersall, Google Maps product manager.
Of course, as in many other locations around the world, Google Maps already provides some information about public transportation in the United Kingdom, but the update will bring a lot more data, including the departure times, transfer information, distance between stops, and which routes have the fewest transfers and, therefore, take the shortest time.
Information for Northern Ireland will be added in the future, as well, but the company doesn’t have access to those data sources yet.
For the data in the UK, Google Maps has added in the schedules from National Express, and signed a partnership with Travelin, which aggregates data from 1,500 local and national operators.
The Next Web quotes Baroness Kramer, minister of state for transport, as saying that, “Government and transport operators have worked together closely over the past decade to make transport data available and to develop journey planning services like Traveline and Transport Direct. Public transport in Google Maps builds on this work,” she said.
The update will be rolled out to the Web, Android and iOS as early as today. In order to get directions to a certain place, you’ll simply have to type in the current location and the one where you want to end up.
Then, you can pick the bus from the transportation options and Maps will provide you with a series of options showing all the ways you can get from one place to another. You can even edit the routes and pick the preferred way of transportation, such as bus or subway.