“Use caution when walking in unfamiliar areas” warns Google as if ask for walking directions in Google Maps. That’s always good advice I suppose.
Google Maps now gives directions for getting from one place to another in three modes: by car, by public transit and by walking. After experimenting with a few examples, I found the that the walking routes differed from the driving ones and were generally pretty reasonable.
Look, they even found a way to walk from UMBC to BWI which they say is 4.4 miles and might take an hour and 33 minutes.
It seems that Google’s legs get tired after walking about 30 miles, so if you ask for directions from Baltimore to DC, it won’t show you the walking option. But, you can force it to produce a walking route by appending a dirflg=w argument to the URL for directions.
Here’s Google’s plan for walking from NYC to LA, covering the 3,012 miles in 41 days and 2 hours. Here’s another interesting trip: Seattle to Key West covering 3,643 miles in 48 days and 3 hours. (Btw, Google is unwilling to plan some walking trips, like Fairbanks to Key West.)
Being a machine, Google doesn’t understand the concept of getting tired and needing to rest or, worse yet, sleep. The walking times seem to be calculated by figuring three miles an hour, 24/7. For the trip to LA you’ll have to keep up the pace even as you go over the Rockies.
It’s great the Google has added this. Now, if they would only add by bicycle