TECHNOLOGY giant Google has updated its official Maps app to include every transport link in Great Britain for the first time.
The app has, until now, covered London and some areas of south-east England in terms of transport links, but this new update expands to the rest of the country as well as Scotland and Wales; including every bus, tram, train and ferry route available.
David Tattersall, product manager for public transport in Google Maps, said: “This is the single largest and most comprehensive update we’ve ever done to our public transport coverage anywhere in the world, so it’s something we’re really proud of.
“One of the things we realised with public transport is that it can be a really bewildering task for a lot of people if you’re not familiar with what bus stop you should go to, where you should get off, things like that. We set out to make public transport a lot easier for people living in England, Scotland and Wales.”
The updated Maps now has schedules for more than one million public transport stops around the world, as well as timetables for more than 17,000 routes, covering more than 1,000 transport operators.
The update also colour codes routes relevant to how they appear on physical maps to make them more familiar, and it covers the desktop version of the app as well as the mobile version that runs on the Apple iOS and Android platforms.
Minister of State for Transport, Baroness Kramer, said: “Government and transport operators have worked together closely over the past decade to make transport data available and to develop journey planning services like Traveline and Transport Direct. Public transport in Google Maps, launched today, builds on this work. The development of applications by the private sector using transport data helps us plan journeys whilst on the go.”
This latest updates comes just weeks after the search engine firm released an update to their Street View software; the app that enables users to travel down real streets as photographed by Google cars. The update added a ‘time machine’ feature to some parts of the world that allows users to see how areas have changed over the last 7 years; the time the software has been available.
Adding these new details to the Maps app as well is the culmination of a year’s work for Mr Tattersall, and a necessary upgrade.
“We’ve built into our maps every single public transport route across Great Britain. This journey started for me just over a year ago when I started working on this project. I was sat with a friend back home in north east Wales and bus went past and I said ‘oh this is what I’m going to be working on’, and then tried to show it and the bus wasn’t on my phone.”