I'll admit it. I never thought I'd be moved by a
video about Google Maps.
Enter our man Todd Scott of the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance.
Scott is doing some very cool things in Detroit to make the motor city more
bike-friendly, and to connect the people of this economically-struggling area
with the power of two-wheels.
"It's not that we were always the motor city," Todd says in this
video about Google's Map Maker Community. "The Dodge brothers made bikes
before they made cars. Henry Ford built his first car out of bike parts."
In addition to his work running an
Earn-a-Bike program in the Osborn neighborhood (funded by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's
Metropolitan Grants Program - a partnership with The Coca Cola Foundation),
Scott has been busy using Google's open source platform to make a comprehensive
map of bike friendly routes across the city. His simple purpose: make it easier
for Detroit residents to choose a healthier, cheaper and more efficient way of
"It goes beyond map making," Todd says. "It's a way to take
back your neighborhood."
RTC has played a big role in getting bike and pedestrian
routes online. When you visit Google Maps today, many of the biking and walking
options you see are based on Geographical Information Systems (GIS) data
provided by RTC from our recent trail mapping initiatives. This mapping work
has enabled us to build the most comprehensive trail-finder website around, TrailLink.com, with photos, reviews and accurate
maps of more than 20,000 miles of trails. It's free, by the way, so check it out.
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