Google Maps is a pretty cool application, but for most of the time it has little real use.
Yes, it can do directions, but so can a thousand other services, and Google’s isn’t the best among them.
Yes, it’s fun to see if you can spot your car from space1, but it’s not massively useful.
Now, however, something useful may be appearing.
England’s Highways Agency has announced a hookup with Google which presents live traffic information overlaid atop the online ad firm’s popular cloud map app, Google Maps.
The Traffic button on Google Maps overlays colour-coded average speed data for motorways and major A-roads, in a format which is at least as easy to use as the Highways Agency’s own website – though more data intensive, which could be an issue for mobile users paying by the megabyte.
Now, it’s only for very major roads, and only in England. But if that was to roll out across the UK it’d be pretty damn useful.
Of course, if the information coming in was less than useful, the information coming out would be garbage also. So someone would need to improve upon the NI Roads Service effort before it could kick off here…
1 – No, I couldn’t, but I could see my old car outside my door. And I know it’s not really from space, but you know what I mean…