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Google to Start Mapping UK Rivers

No doubt we've all used Google Maps to plan a route, whether it was for a road trip or a business meeting. However, Google this week announced a partnership with the UK's Canal and River Trust that aims to help users plan for more relaxing and leisurely routes. Specifically, the search giant will start mapping the UK's rivers and canals in the hope that people will start using them more. According to the Telegraph, Google Maps will be updates to allow users to plan journeys that incorporate locks, bridges and towpaths along the UK's 2,000 miles of river paths.

Canal towpaths offer green routes through our towns and cities, and by working with the Canal and River Trust we're adding towpaths to Google Maps and encouraging people to discover their local waterway," Google UK's geospatial technologist is quoted as saying.

The Register reports that British Waterways will pass its GIS (geographic information system) information, including mapping, statistical analysis and databases, to Google in order to help the search giant with the project. Though Google is getting the GIS data for free, British Waterways told the Register that the partnership would help promote and encourage the use of the waterways.

"We are well aware of the commercial value of the data," the spokesperson said, "but this is consciously a longer term partnership which includes further exciting and beneficial initiatives, details of which will follow in due course."

Google Maps is expected to update to include UK waterways later this year. A more precise timeframe has yet to be revealed.

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