December 2005


I am The Cyberwolfe and these are my ramblings. All original content is protected under a Creative Commons license - always ask first.
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Google Loves us better

Google, the penultimate search engine, has been dipping it’s toes in many varied waters recently, as you all know. One of the more useful to me has been Google Maps, which I use every day to find where many of my customers live. Today, they released the beta for Google Transit, a service to help you plot a path on public transport to your destination.

This is really a happy mash-up between Maps and your local transit provider’s schedules and route maps. Enter a starting point and destination, it gives you a route and several time options. Add an ETA to your query, and it will give you more narrow results based on that. A truly nifty idea.

The best part is that our beloved Portland is the first city to get the service. Go Portland! I’m guessing this is primarily because our transit system rocketh mightily, and Tri-Met already had a ton of info available on the ‘Net.

Of course, there is going to be the oddball thing showing up. In looking up Tri-Met’s website just now, I find the following:

It all started on the bus

Fifty years ago, Rosa Parks (1913–2005) was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama. TriMet is commemorating this historic event and Rosa Parks’ legacy.

Bus service changes effective Dec. 4

Schedules were adjusted on 8 bus lines as of Sunday, December 4. Line 83-Park Blocks was discontinued.


Ok, this is obviously just one of those unhappy coincidences – line 83 wasn’t getting enough riders to justify the expense, and it just happens to go through the Park Blocks, and Rosa’s last name just happens to be Parks.

Timing is everything.

3 replies to “Google Loves us better”

  1. apcow Says:

    I’ve been playing with that site all day, and so far I’m having a lot of trouble with it. It wants me to take a 39-minute walk to the airport through a golf course instead of taking the MAX red line. Also, I don’t think it knows about all of the smaller stops not at major intersections. For example, it wants me to walk 8 blocks to 7th avenue to get on the 15 instead of walking just 1 block to 14th. I’m sure they’ll work the bugs out.

  2. apcow Says:

    And I can’t even begin to figure out why it would expect me to make three bus transfers to get from 14th and belmont to northwest.

  3. The Cyberwolfe Says:

    Hey, we’re the first beta test of the software – give ’em a week or three to sort it out. Google Maps wasn’t exactly spot-on when they started out either.