Google has unveiled a major update for its Maps tool by adding data for public transport routes in Great Britain to enable users to plot routes across the country. The update works on iOS, Android and desktop versions of Google Maps.
Google said that 17,000 routes have been added covering buses, trains, trams and even ferries, in order to provide the best possible information for those seeking directions anywhere from Land's End to John O'Groats.
Data on public transport services has been in Google Maps for London and the South East, but David Tattersall, product manager for public transport in Google Maps, said it was important that the whole country had this capability.
Doing so involved gathering data from 1,500 local and national travel operators through Traveline in order to offer more detailed information on the available journey options.
"You can now get public transport directions for everything from cross-country trips, to timings for the local village bus, to the St Mawes ferry in Cornwall which will save you a 55-minute journey over land to Falmouth," Tattersall said.
"You'll now know when the next trip is departing, how many stops and how far your walk is between each station. You can also pick your preferred method of travel and whether you'd rather walk less or make fewer transfers, so you can compare and choose the best option for you."
The government was keen to give the work its seal of approval. Minister of State for Transport, Baroness Kramer, touted its open data strategy through the Traveline site as key to work of this kind.
"Government and transport operators have worked together closely over the past decade to make transport data available and to develop journey planning services," she said.
"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."
A service for Northern Ireland is "in the works", Google said, but did not provide any more information.
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