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Earth Day 2012 - Google directs people to get on their bikes

By Adrian Bishop - 19 Apr 2012 13:9:29 GMT
Earth Day 2012 - Google directs people to get on their bikes

Get on your bike for Earth Day - Bicycle rider image via Shutterstock

Search engine giant Google is encouraging people to get on their bikes for Earth Day - and indeed every day.

Via Google Maps, cyclists can discover safe, new routes by using the Biking Directions tab, helping reduce their carbon footprints.

Earth Day 2012 on Sunday 22nd April, is the perfect time for cyclists to find bike trails and lanes, avoid hills (should they wish) and bypass busy roads - all of which Biking Directions offers, says Google.

Visitors to Google Maps can search for best cycle routes in 150 American cities and some regions of Canada and those with smartphones can download a mini version and use it on the go.

Google Maps offers other ways of eco-friendly travel through the Transit section that provides details of the fastest public transport options in more than 470 cities worldwide. Users can plan their route using times of arrival and departure, transfer options and can even receive fare calculations and live bus times.

Another useful feature of Google Maps is the Traffic layer that provides drivers with live traffic information so they can avoid wasting fuel in jams.

Drivers of electric cars can enter the search term "ev charging station in [your city]" and Google Maps will reveal the nearest charging stations.

For those in the UK, cycle route information is available using the Transit area of Google Maps. UK Google Maps offers car, public transport and walking route planner options.

For full details on the features and availability of Google Maps, go to the support page.

More than one billion people worldwide are set to take part in the 42nd Earth Day and have pledged to participate in 'a billion acts of green' to help protect the planet and demand a more sustainable future.

A campaign spokesman says, "For Earth Day 2012 we are mobilizing the planet simply to say one thing: the Earth won't wait. It seems that environmental issues have been put on the back burner as we are in the midst of a global recession. It is time for us to Mobilize the Earth™ and speak with one voice, one message."

Taking up the cycling theme, many people around the world have promised to use the bicycle to get to work instead of the car. Others say they will plant gardens and eat more local food.

The highest-profile Earth Day event is the Mobilize the Earth rally in Washington DC.

The National Mall seven-hour event from 12 noon features veteran performers Cheap Trick and Dave Mason, plus Kicking Daisies and The Explorers Club.

Speakers include the Rev. Jesse Jackson, American footballer, Atlanta Falcons fullback Ovie Mughelli, Indy Car driver Leilani Munter and Denis Hayes, who organised the first Earth Day in 1970.

If you can't make it to the rally, it will be streamed live on the Earth Day website.

More information on using Google Maps biking directions; Credit: © Google

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