Google Maps cycling navigation rolled out in Taiwan

New feature offers bicycle-friendly directions, Taiwan first country in Asia to have the service

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Google Maps cycling navigation (CNA/Google image)

Google Maps cycling navigation (CNA/Google image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Google Maps launched its cycling navigation service in Taiwan on Thursday (Feb. 6), the first in Asia to provide bicycle-friendly directions.

The service can be accessed via computers, tablets, and cellphones, with the latest version of the Google Maps mobile application. "Cycling mode" is currently available in 27 countries, said the American technology giant.

Bicyclists in Taiwan used to refer to Google Maps for vehicles or pedestrians when traveling around Taiwan, but this did not take into account hill climbs or roads not suited to bicycling. The new service is likely to encourage the use of cycles for commuting or recreational purposes, said Cynthia Wei (魏薌君), program manager of Google Asia-Pacific Street View.

The new feature was made possible through data compiled by the Ministry of Transportation. It offers cycling paths and recommended routes among other useful information to bicycle enthusiasts.

An estimated 10 billion people per month around the world use Google Maps, which was rolled out in 2004, wrote CNA.