google walking directions-1.jpg

A few weeks ago we wrote about a new feature, walking directions, that select people were seeing when using Google Maps. The good news is that Google has apparently unleashed the new feature for anyone that wants to use it, and from what I can tell it works pretty darn good.

When you are getting directions on the Google Maps page you should notice that there are “By car” and “Walking” options located immediately above the directions (pictured above). When it comes to getting walking directions it looks like Google tries to provide the most direct route possible, whereas driving directions try to get you to the destination by using the fastest roads.

The walking directions also adjust the time it will take to get to your destination based upon a reasonable walking speed. I’m not 100% sure what that speed is, but it looks to be about 3 miles per hour (0.05 miles per minute) give or take some. I looked around and 3mph is commonly referred to as the average walking speed for women, and for men it’s normally about 3.5mph. From my calculations Google is using the 3mph for their directions. I tested their walking directions out on paths that I’ve walked before, and the timing is generally pretty accurate.

There’s just one thing that I’m hoping for with this now, and it’s an option on the iPhone to get walking directions using the Google Maps application. This would be very handy when trying to navigate cities and unknown areas on foot.

Thanks Google! I’ll definitely be using these walking directions in the future.

[via Search Engine Land]