Google Maps adds elevation info for cyclists - so you can choose the flattest/hilliest route for your ride

New elevation levels for Google Maps helps riders choose a longer, flatter route or a short sharp hilly one

by Sarah Barth   July 19, 2014  

Google Maps elevation.png

If you like cycling the flat route to work, or conversely want a few challenging hills on your Sunday morning ride, the new Google Maps update for cyclists could be just what you’re looking for.

Alongside a route, an estimated journey time and step by step directions, the smartphone app now displays elevation levels, along with the time it should take to detour to that route.

There is also a Siri-style voice input tool, allowing you to ask the app questions, like ‘how far to the next turn’ or ‘navigate to an alternate address’ - making using your phone while riding a whole lot easier.

The update, which is currently only to the Android version of Google Maps, is not in Google Play yet but Android users can download the APK here. [The usual disclaimers apply to those who choose to download.]

There is no indication yet of when the update may roll out to iOS users.

4 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Hmm, this is good but every time I use Google Maps cycling directions it send me on routes that are either motorways in all but name or impassable due to stairs barriers or terrain, not useful considering I ride a Bakfiets.

posted by drfabulous0 [406 posts]
19th July 2014 - 19:03


Dear Google,

Please stop trying to be stylish with your maps by using various shades of yellow and orange and go back to using blue and green. Substance over style please.

posted by cub [79 posts]
19th July 2014 - 22:00


When planning routes on google maps I've got very different (lower) figures for altitude than when comparing it to what was recorded on my Garmin. No idea which is correct, however..

posted by 700c [720 posts]
20th July 2014 - 11:51


The headline on this article is wrong. It should be "Google finally starts to catch up with, cycle streets and everyone else" because they've had altitude for some time now, plus their routing seems more reliable.

posted by a.jumper [830 posts]
21st July 2014 - 8:32