Google Maps has been an integral part of my commute for years.  Although it was the bearer of bad news more times than not (LA Traffic), it definitely helped me manage my arrival time expectations.  There were a few snags in the Google Maps system occasionally and I always wished for a bit more accuracy, as I had to slam on my brakes for the accident that “just” happened on the 405.

Well,  it seems as though my wishes have been answered and if you’re a Southern California resident, Google has a great surprise for you.  Google Maps has now added traffic overlays to many of it’s Southern California streets, in order to help commuters get to where  they are going faster, by finding alternate routes home.  Google Maps gets most of its real-time traffic information from companies that monitor the roadways, but now they are adding a high-tec twist: Crowdsourcing.  When mobile users go to Google Maps and click on the Traffic button on the top right of their phones a the new service harvest anonymous location data to enhance its picture of live road conditions.  I know that for me as a regular Google Maps users, planning my commute route will become a lot easier!

Have any of you had good/bad experiences with Google Maps? Do you prefer it to other GPS type technologies? We want to hear from you!

For the full article, go to: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2009/08/la-socal-street-traffic-now-visible-on-google-maps.html

For another great article on the technology, go to: http://www.dailytech.com/Google+Uses+Crowdsourcing+for+Traffic+Data/article16084.htm

Google Maps, Crowdsourcing

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