Related to this question about submitting road data to google maps. I'm curious to know if there is any way to get Google started on cycling data in my city. There are a lot of cyclists in my city, but as it is located outside of the US, it will probably take some time before cycling directions show up on Google Maps.

It does seem to be possible to use the "report a problem" feature of maps to add new route data. But what can I do if there is no cycling data to begin with?

  • They added it to most of Europe as of a few days ago.
    – gerrit
    Commented Jul 18, 2012 at 16:04

4 Answers 4


Have a look at http://www.opencyclemap.org/ it uses the http://www.openstreetmap.org/ data, so you can help them by mapping your local cycle ways.

  • 1
    +1 - that is a site which deserves everyone's support. There are plenty of iPhone/Android/etc. apps which allow you to upload new routes/photos/details to the site if it's not detailed enough for your purpose yet.
    – Unsliced
    Commented Oct 19, 2010 at 8:48
  • 1
    Plus if your area has poor coverage on the underlying OpenStreetMap you can use your GPS data as the basis of an edit of the map.
    – Amos
    Commented Oct 19, 2010 at 15:53
  • @Unsliced - Are there similar apps for the web? Commented Jan 25, 2011 at 19:26
  • Yes - openstreetmap's website allows for direct editing of the underlying data.
    – Unsliced
    Commented Jan 26, 2011 at 10:26

You can now participate in updating Google Maps to the point of adding streets and updating information, using Google Map Maker. While there is community bureaucracy to learn, you can now indeed participate directly.

  • 4
    upvote, but i beg you: if you are contributing your time to mapping, do it to openstreetmaps. if you give the data to google, it's locked in one product. if you give your time to open initiatives, it's available to all. INCLUDING google maps. as they use that data a lot. thank you.
    – gcb
    Commented May 20, 2012 at 7:36
  • @gcb - I agree in principle, but have found Open Street Maps to be difficult to use. Has the interface gotten better? Commented May 21, 2012 at 15:55

The "report a problem" feature can be used to suggest minor corrections. Once I tried getting bike directions and they gave me a very indirect route. I reported the problem and they fixed it within a few days.

For larger amounts of data, you may have some luck with Google's Base Map Partner Program. It can be used to send them data in standardized formats such as KML or CSV. They claim to be currently accepting "bicycle and pedestrian paths", among other things. I haven't tried it myself. If I ever try it, I will report on the results here.

  • 1
    Interesting - I still prefer the openness of openstreetmap.org, but the ubiquity of Google maps makes an ability to add to their dataset fairly compelling.
    – Unsliced
    Commented Jan 25, 2011 at 9:07
  • Interesting! More detail would make this a proper answer. (Also see this thread on meta.SO for why answers comprised of mostly a link are of limited utility.) Commented Jan 25, 2011 at 19:30

If you are in the UK, use CycleStreets. It's a free journey-planning website designed specifically for cycling, so it can route you across off-road cycle tracks and bridges, and it gives you a choice of faster routes for more confident cyclists, and quieter routes if you want to avoid traffic. As well as the main and a mobile website, they have free apps for iPhone and Android. They use OpenStreetMap data (as other people have mentioned) as the source for the routing, so they have the same property that you can fix dodgy routes yourself, and add new links straight away.

In my area, a new foot and cycle bridge was built more than five years ago. It's still not visible on Google Maps, so not available for their walking directions, but it was added to OpenStreetMap the day it was opened.

Sorry if you're not in the UK, as it's currently UK only: as a not-for-profit they can't yet afford the server capacity to route in other countries too.

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