Google Map Maker video highlights Detroit bicycling

Google released a video on their Map Maker software a little over a week ago. The video focuses on how we’ve used their program to update Google Maps with the latest bicycling and trail information.

Hailed as the birthplace of the automotive revolution, the city of Detroit, Mich. is taking its transportation legacy down new paths. As Detroit embraces a greener, non-motorized outlook, cycling is steadily increasing in popularity. The Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance is facilitating this transition by creating an interconnected statewide system of trails and greenways, including the development of bike paths throughout the Detroit area.

How did this come about?

First it began when I became heavily involved in updating the bicycling and trail information in Map Maker. I began in the city of Detroit but slowly progressed across all of Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne Counties. Google tracks how many edits contributors make and this work put me near the top of those in this region. They were having a North American Google Map Maker conference in Montreal and they invited me.

At the conference I had the opportunity to share stories of our work in Detroit, which left a positive impression. Google contacted me afterwards about making Detroit part of their upcoming promotional video.

As one can tell by the quality of the video, this was not some small project. At one point their were nine other people in my home office for a video shoot. They shot video for three days at locations across Detroit, including the Heidelberg Project, Belle Isle, Dequindre Cut, RiverWalk, Spirit of Hope urban garden, and even the Ambassador Bridge for the Bike the Bridge event. Some of the most dramatic shots were taken from a helicopter.

Of course the East Side Riders looked great in the video as well.

Though Detroit’s bicycle and trail info is quite up to date, there’s other mapping work that can be done – and it’s something everyone can do using Map Maker.

Others are also working on printed Detroit bike maps as well as Open Street Maps. We’re not done!

The Detroit News, MLive, and the Huffington Post also covered this story.

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One Response to “Google Map Maker video highlights Detroit bicycling”

  1. Chas Says:

    I have been watching the bike routes in and around Detroit grow a lot in recent years and have used it regularly in the city this summer. It has been a great tool for mapping out rides in the D. It is great finding all of the bike lanes that have popped up! Thanks for all of your good work, I appreciate it!

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