Google Maps Train Routes in Britain
Google announced today it has integrated timetables and route information for train travel across mainland Britain into Google Maps.
In a webchat this morning, Ed Parsons, Google UK’s geospatial technologist and Richard Rowson, Business Development Director at TheTrainline, explained to me that as of today, train travellers can search for journeys across Britain with more than 2,500 stations and 170,000 trips nationwide included. In addition, 8,000 bus stops and over 250 tube stations are included on the maps.
Searching for travel information across Greater London was already possible but now thanks to the new updates, internet and mobile users have access to timetables and train information for routes across the whole country.
How it works
Go to maps.google.co.uk, click "Get Directions", and enter origin and destination. Then click the icon depicting a train to obtain public transport directions and easily viewable train routes on the map.
The intention is to display the best route by rail and full details including departure and arrival times, journey duration and which train company is operating the service. These details are also displayed on the map above the departure location, where you can click through to thetrainline.com homepage to search for and book train tickets for the journey.
Google Maps also gives walking directions (and some bus timetables) for connections.
What's useful, explained Ed Parsons, is that you can also select the car icon and compare journey times by car compared with rail journeys.
Users can also tap into GPS on a mobile device and get directions from their current location to any given destination in Britain.
Ed Parsons said: “Google Maps seeks to provide a wide range of relevant local information, and public transport station and schedule information is definitely a part of that. It is great to be able to partner with companies like thetrainline.com and have their schedule information available in Google Maps for the whole of Britain. This means we can reach and help a larger number of people with useful national rail train information.”
Google Maps is available in over 50 languages, so with London set to be a very popular destination this coming summer, it is hoped that tourists will be able to combine walking with transit directions on Google Maps for mobile to help find their way around the country.
By Richard Hammond.