20 January 2012

Google Maps now take the train

As you have probably guessed by now, I am quite a fan of Google Maps. Well the service has now got even more useful in that you can now get basic train information when you ask for directions as well as the standard car journey directions and bus travel.

So I want to get to Looe so I use Google Maps and it shows me the route to take by car

DBG- 001

But now If I select the public transport icon (just above the word Plymouth top left) I can see three options to travel listed below. You can change the date and time if you are planning ahead which is even more useful for planning a train journey. The lines on the map show the connections between scheduled stops so a non stop run would be a single line between Plymouth and Liskeard, whilst this one below stops twice along the journey. A nice easy way to highlight what should be quicker options.

DBG- 002

Scrolling down you see the full journey details with the train journey highlighted (ie Exeter St Davids to Par) and the journey time.

 

DBG- 003

Below this you then get the links to the web site of the train operator for the journey you have picked and also a link for ticket prices. The ticket prices link actually takes you the The Trainline who have supplied Google with the timetables etc to make all of this work so seems fair enough. Sadly when you get the The Trainline you have to enter the journey details again to get the ticket prices etc which is a shame but isnt too difficult. You can of course go through the First Great Western site and get the tickets through them and avoid the credit card surcharge.

DBG- 004

The National Rail information joins local transit data, to offer true national multi-modal travel planning to users of Google Maps on the web, and more importantly mobile via Google Maps for Mobile. This is a great example of the benefits of opening up public data sets, the national rail timetable data is been provided via the people at thetrainline.com who have great expertise in dealing with the complexities of the unique railway system in Britain. [Source: EdParsons]


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