Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Sydney And Google Maps Deal

News out that Sydney, Australia joins London and other major cities in getting with it as Google Maps adds Sydney public transport to their offering. According to Lifehacker Australia 

"Search for directions between two Sydney addresses and you’ll also be offered public transport directions where available, including the times of relevant services. The system will default to choosing the fastest trip, but you can click the ‘More options’ link and specify if you want train, bus, ferry or light rail. The search isn’t rock-solid — it didn’t always spot ferry trips in my early tests — but even in an imperfect form, this is a long-overdue addition. (Sydney has had directions for the light rail since 2009, but that’s only a tiny part of the system.)

Sydney joins Adelaide (which has had the option since 2008), Perth (ditto), Canberra (2009) and Cairns (also 2009) in offering full public transport directions via Google Maps."

Over on  Smarthouse  they had this to say...

"The NSW Government has cut a deal with Google that allows commuters on public transport to get access to information via Google Maps.
Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian said during a visit to Google headquarters that commuters searching for directions on Google Maps traditionally have the choice to drive, walk or cycle, but from today users in NSW will see another option providing a comprehensive summary of convenient public transport journeys to their destinations.

The service  means that Sydney now joins global cities including London, New York and Hong Kong that also have public transport on Google Maps, Ms Berejiklian said.

"We are listening to customers, and more people are turning to the internet and mobile phones to help them plan journeys, and it doesn't get much easier than using Google Maps," she said.

""We also see this as an opportunity to attract new customers as it's estimated Google receives nearly one million location related searches in NSW each day. So we expect the tool to encourage people who don't normally use public transport to give it a try."

Now when do we get Newcastle 'on the map'?

Perhaps IT Wire have it right with their comment "Most other places in Australia only have one bus, so it's probably not that important (joking!)." - They must mean @The100Bus ;-)

Of course a recent expedition to a local winery in Rothbury had me following directions from Google Maps that sent me to the worst possible route. Now why is there no element on Google Maps that accounts for weather and road conditions? May be that's something to look at in future iterations.

 See - technology is not going away. Expect more convenience and new ways of doing old stuff.

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