Google Maps Offers NYC Mass Transit Directions

By Paul Glazowski
|  Thursday, Jan 7, 2010  |  Updated 6:31 PM EDT
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Google Maps Offers NYC Mass Transit Directions

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Roadways in parts of New York City are having their annual crisis of non-motion, a result of the gathering of the United Nations General Assembly. So what better time for the utilitarian folk at Google to ply the five boroughs and areas beyond for all manner of details concerning the mass transit options of the region?

Indeed, Google today has revealed it has produced an entire Web-based representation of lines that the MTA, Port Authority, and New Jersey Transit travel by. Which at first glance might seem a rather selective focus for the company. Still, it is said that “one in every three users of mass transit in the country” make use of the MTA system, so the provisions now officially in place in public view on Google Maps for the whole of New York City and its surroundings are bound to find appreciative consumers.

I gave the mass transit button in Google Maps a spin, charting a path from Central Park to the United Nations, and I was shown the path displayed above. In the left-hand trip guide was a detailed warning about 7 Line disruptions, with links to the MTA website for more information. Is this the most convenient option to take? You decide. Try other routes, too. See if Google is as smart with street-level and subterranean transport as a well-worn native might estimate his/her knowledge of the grid.

What the company can deliver is data for most everything in the vicinity of metropolitan New York. But as Google users have learned to recognize time and time again, an algorithm only goes so far.

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