Google travel directions gadget puts public transit directions everywhere… oh, wait, they don’t include transit?

From Google Maps Mania:

The Google Maps team have released a handy ‘Travelling Directions’ gadget in time for the holiday period. A lot of people will be doing a lot of travelling over the next two weeks. Now with the new directions gadget, you can bring driving and walking directions to your home page or even to your own website.

By copying and pasting a single line of code, any website can offer customized door-to-door directions to their users. Users can then print the directions with a single click. Websites can even change the default destination to an address of their own by visiting the gadget creation page. This is a great option for businesses who can embed the gadget on their websites so that their customers can quickly get directions to the business.

More at Google LatLong: “The Gift of Gadgets“.

At first I hopefully expected that transit directions were included as part of the travel gadget.  It would be a more elegant and easier way for websites to incorporate transit directions into their content than, for example, what I worked out for the North Coast Journal event calendar.

But alas, only walking and driving, not transit directions, are not part of the travel directions gadget.  I am curious why.  Are some transit agencies that participate in Google Transit uncomfortable with transit trip planner information for their system appearing on 3rd party websites other than maps.google.com?  If so, they are missing out on free marketing and new potential partnerships and riders.  Were there technical limitations?

It is my hope that we will see transit directions added to the gadget, or something similar, at some point in the future.


Aaron is the founding principal of Trillium Solutions, Inc. He brings experience that includes 12 years of web-development with 8 years in public transportation, with knowledge of fixed-route transportation, paratransit, rural transportation, and active transportation modes. Aaron is a recognized expert in developing data standards, web-application design, digital communications, and online marketing strategy. He originally developed Trillium’s GTFS Manager, and has played a key role in the development of the GTFS data specification since 2007.