Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Have You Hugged Your Bike Today?


The New York Times ran an article announcing Google's new project to add biking routes to their maps.

Titled, "Google Maps Adds Directions for Cyclists," the articles reads,

"Cycling enthusiasts tend to be a passionate bunch. So it is not surprising that there are lots of questions about biking information on Google Maps forums. One group, called googlemapsbikethere.org, has collected more than 51,000 signatures asking Google to add biking directions to its maps. On Wednesday, the company is answering the call, offering biking routes in 150 American cities in Google Maps."

Then there is a quote from a dude at bikehugger.com saying something about this being fantastic. And of course, there is a bit about how Google partnered with Rails-to-Trails conservancy in order to further promote sustainable practices and growth by turning old rail lines into trails and "conneting corridors to build healthier places for healthier people." All in all, really fabulous stuff.
 
But here is my concern; when will Google make MY life easier? Take for instance, this new map app which will allow me to plug in a few things here and there and then Google will do the rest to make sure my pedaling adventure is successful, right? But, Google, darling, I am so much more than a pedaler. I am also a parent, a shoe shopper, a writer, a cowboy boot collector, a coffee drinker and a novel reader, not to mention a fan of art museums, an occasional painter and cheesecake eater and a half marathon runner.
 
Which makes me wonder how long it will be before I pop open a can of Google-iciousness, jump into my account, plan out my daily route and have customized offers delivered onto me. For instance, when I am mapping out these plans for either public transit, walking, driving, or now biking, maybe at the last minute I will decide that I may want to get a manicure or an ice cream cone or a new favorite pair of hip-huggers along the way. Maybe I will want to check out a realtors office or a dry cleaner or a new fitness center? When will I have the option of plugging in my desires and have vendors fight for my consumer dollars?
 
I predict this is coming. I'm not that special so I'm banking on a groundswell of supporters that will drive this sort of marketing strategy from an idea to a Google app.

What do you think? Does this already exist in your world?