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September 19, 2009

One Small Step for Google Maps

by Andre Blackman

Many of us are familiar with the great feature of Google Maps – we use it to get to Point to Point B – usually printed out before we drive some place. Last year I was pretty pleased to find out that Google Maps implemented walking directions into their maps functions. There are a few reasons why I was happy that this came about:

  1. Public health and the reduction of obesity
  2. Walking is good for your health
  3. Environmental health – reduce needless auto emissions
  4. Gas prices aren’t always where you want them to be

If you think about it, wouldn’t you rather figure out that you could get to your destination at the same time (maybe leave a bit earlier) and not have to pay a cent in fuel? Now I can understand not wanting to lug armloads of groceries down the street – that’s cool and makes sense. But what about going to the movies? Just leave a bit earlier and take a nice walk, especially since Fall is just about here. Think about making it a family event with the kids.

I popped in random addresses in the Triangle area (that were reasonably close by) on Google Maps and saw this:

Walking reference

Map Route

You see the WALKING option plainly offered right? Another great thing will need to be paid attention to as communities center around healthier, alternate methods of transportation – it’s easy to find.

Something important I thought about was that this shows another way in which we make technology work for us – for our own benefit. Now it’s just up to us to actually use it.

So next time you aren’t in a rush to get to your destination, check to see if you can get there by using some free transportation: your own two feet.

 

Yahya E. B. Henry

About Yahya E. B. Henry

Merging his passion for cities, real estate, tech and travel, Yahya is introducing the world to a new model of real estate development that draws from best practices around the globe.

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5 Comments

  • Great piece on Andre! Interesting thing is that when I'm out, I park a couple blocks away from my destination for a little bit of exercise. Walking really should be endorsed more as a viable transportation alternative.

  • Here in Augusta, Ga, I chose my apartment because I knew that I could walk to and from work. My neighborhood is walkable with sidewalks, restaurants, a college and hospital. But there is no grocery store close enough. Not only do I get the exercise that I need but I have a little hop in my step because I know that I'm helping the earth at the same time. And what a statement it makes…my coworkers think I'm strange and shake their heads when I don't accept a ride from them in their gas guzzlers!

  • [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by The Aribra Group, The Aribra Group and Craig VanDevere. Craig VanDevere said: RT @YahyaHenry: One Small Step for Google Maps http://su.pr/1YD4SC #sustainability #archi [...]

  • I know the national department of transportation has four projects going on to promote biking and walking. I do not know the current status of those projects, but they are helping to promote healthier alternatives. I like this piece on Google!

  • I know the national department of transportation has four projects going on to promote biking and walking. I do not know the current status of those projects, but they are helping to promote healthier alternatives. I like this piece on Google!

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