NYC Subway Map - Now From Google

Adam DuVander
Nov. 07 2009, 01:05PM EST

Earlier this year Google added a new transit layer to its own mapping application to show transit routes in the 400+ cities where it has data. Now they've announced this is available for the New York City transit system including subway maps. The result is an easy way to see nearby bus and train stops on the web or on some mobile phones.

Google Transit Layer

Unfortunately, neither the data nor the imagery is available in the API version of Google Maps. While Google provides programmatic access to driving directions, as well as walking directions -- the third type, transit, has never been a part of the Maps API. The reason could be that there are extra factors, like fares and zones, that don't quite fit the same structure as other directions.

Indeed, though Google receives hundreds of transit feeds from hundreds of agencies, only a handful have data accessible to other developers. This may not be Google's fault, as I wrote in Why Aren't There More Transit APIs? It's easy to see the benefit of providing data to Google, but a harder sell to open up to any developers. Of course, some are better than others.

London Tube Journey Planner

Developers don't necessarily need Google or agencies to provide them with all the data. London Tube Journey Planner, for example, shows routes and plans trips. We currently list 91 transit mashups, several dating back to 2005.

Adam DuVander Hi! I'm Developer Communications Director for SendGrid and former Executive Editor of ProgrammableWeb. I currently serve as a Contributing Editor. If you have API news, or are interested in writing for ProgrammableWeb, please contact editor@programmableweb.com Though I'm a fan of anything API-related, my particular interest is in mapping. I've published a how-to book, Map Scripting 101, to get anyone started making maps on websites. In a not-so-distant past life I wrote for Wired and Webmonkey.

Comments

Comments(1)

User HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.