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Ireland, France, Others Get Bike Navigation in Google Maps

Google has announced that it will bring biking navigation to several more countries in Europe. Launched last year in the UK, Australia, and a number of other countries, this week the company is launching navigation for cyclists in half a dozen more UK countries including Ireland.

Google has added information about bike trails, lanes and recommended roads directly to the map, working with partner organizations and adding bike paths through Google Mapmaker. When mapping out routes, Google Maps will estimate time for the route based on a number of variables including the type of road, terrain and turns.

"As the season of big bike races in Europe has started, why not check what route Google suggests for a historical stage of the Tour de France?" Google's Kai Hansen wrote on the Google blog, "Our bicycle route for the classic stage from Biarritz to Bordeaux navigates on 206 beautiful, often car-free kilometers close to the Atlantic Ocean, compared to the rather boring 206 kilometers on the N10/A63 which is suggested for cars."

Google's bike directions will be enabled for users in Germany, France, Poland, Ireland, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein. It's already available in Austria, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.