Google Maps adds 17K routes to UK public transport data

The tech giant amps up transportation data from England, Wales, Scotland, Vancouver, Chicago, and major cities in Brazil.

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Jason Cipriani/CNET

UK dwellers will soon have to look no further than Google Maps to get routes, schedules, and transfer information for all of their public transport needs.

Google is on the verge of launching a comprehensive mapping feature for every type of public transportation available in the UK, including buses, trains, ferries, trams, and subways, according to the Guardian. This update will be one of the company's biggest-ever additions of public transport information.

"In Britain, public transport is part of the national psyche," Google Maps product manager David Tattersall told the newspaper. "The biggest changes will be on mobile, as devices are becoming more and more powerful and they're things we spend a lot of time with. We're aiming to really improve users' lives."

Google also announced that it added new public transit information to Google Maps in Vancouver, Chicago, and all cities hosting FIFA World Cup games in Brazil.

Google already gives UK users public transport information but it's not as all-inclusive as what will soon be available. According to the Guardian, about 17,000 routes and 34,000 stopping points will be included in Google Maps. Users will also be able to find out departure and transfer information, the distance between stations, and which routes have the fewest transfers.

The tech giant was able to add all of this transport data to its maps because the UK government and transportation companies have opened up their data for developers to use, according to The Next Web.

Google Maps has been working on mapping out the world's transit structures for several years now. Some of its initiatives include adding public transport in New York City, voice search with its transit planner, and live transit updates in several cities around the world.

Update, May 15 at 6:30 a.m. PT: Adds information on Google Maps' public transport data expansion in Vancouver, Chicago, and Brazil.

 

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