Great news for bikers: the nerds at Google have added bicycling directions to Google Maps. It appears right alongside the other options, walking, car or public transit. It doesn’t work everywhere yet - I tried to find a way from my apartment to the local bike-polo court and Google Maps just told me it couldn’t calculate a route.
In San Francisco, though, everything is fine. I plugged in Wired HQ and the nearby Moscone center and got a straight three-block route. Too easy? Fine, what about Wired to Pier 39, tourist central (and home of a surprisingly good crab restaurant)? This, too, shows the same route for bikes and cars, but the alternative routes presented below are different. I guess that you get the most efficient route first, which is usually the same as you’d take in a car, with slightly more pleasant alternatives.
The service is, of course, in beta, and Google is soliciting feedback on the suitability of roads for biking. You can of course still do it the old-fashioned (and somewhat quicker) way: use the walking directions, which ignore road-rules and one-way streets.
http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/03/ ... irections/
It looks like the data for Michigan is pretty sparse....but its beta so hopefully that will change over time.