Multi-Modal travel planning comes to Google Maps !

This has been a very long time in coming, finally national travel planning become easier as Google Maps now includes information on National train routes and timetables. 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 who have great expertise in dealing with the complexities of the unique railway system in Britain.

It’s now possible to get step by step directions from your Hotel in Bristol to Edinburgh Castle only using public transport, a combination of walking, bus and train travel delivered to your mobile phone.

Written and submitted from the Google Offices, London (51.495N, 0.146W)

6 replies on “Multi-Modal travel planning comes to Google Maps !”

Great, but:
a) doesn’t work everywhere: Cottenham to London Kings Cross only has car, bus or foot(!)
b) what is the dashed polygon around my home address? I found nothing to help me find out
I can send you screenshots if you wish.

I had the impression, in the past, that, Google Maps does not take into account London Overground service. I tried again now, to be sure, and it actually works… Is it a recent addition?

Very interesting! Yes, it is true that’s a great example of the benefits of opening up public data sets.
Unfortunately, SOME companies have nothing to gain and much to lose (the think) from making these data sets public, even if the data is about public transport. See controversies on JCDecaux and the DublinBikes app, or rail timetable in Belgium (managed by Maybe we would need a “licence” policy, similar to what happens for open-source code: data about public transport MUST be accessible and free of charge… unless you are using it to make money.

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