Real-Time Traffic From Google Maps Mobile

Google Maps has rolled out a new
mobile version offering real-time
traffic information in 30 US cities. The service also offers directions designed
for those who are walking, in addition to driving.

The mobile version is explained more
here from Google. It requires
downloading Java-based software which works with many mobile phones but
certainly not all of them. Count me among the ones out of luck. It also won’t
work on Palm devices nor, from what I can tell, Windows Mobile/Pocket PCs. The
FAQ explains more. All supported
devices are here.

Google’s also made a new version of its personalized home page for mobile
devices, using this tool.
Personalized Homepage on Mobile Phones
from Google Blogoscoped and

Google Beefs Up Mobile Home Page
from Micro Persuasion cover more on how
this works.

Very oddly, regular Google Maps hasn’t gained either traffic information or
pedestrian directions. That’s too bad, because if they did, I could use the
regular browser on my phone to get this type of information. Since Google fails
to do this, here are alternatives from its competitors.

Yahoo rolled out real-time traffic information into
Yahoo Maps well over a year ago. Our
SearchDay article
Yahoo Offers
Real-Time Traffic Reports
covers more about this, and help info from Yahoo
is here.

Meanwhile, Windows Live Local from
Microsoft added real-time traffic info about two months ago, as our past blog
post Windows Live
Local Adds Traffic and Sharing
covers. Help info from Microsoft is

Mobile Access
to Info: See The Traffic
from us in the past has some tips on seeing
real-time traffic via the TrafficLand
web site, which has expanded since our original article to cover more cities.

Ask Maps doesn’t have traffic info but
it does provide an option to get directions both for those driving and for
walking, something Google only gives you on your phone.

Nobody walks in LA — or The OC — for that matter. But if Ryan on The OC
really was trying to walk between locations as the TV series would make you
think (see my personal blog for
), here’s a

rough idea
of how the three hour trip by foot gets turned into only minutes
through the miracle of television. Oh — and it also demonstrates how walking
directions work on Ask.

And speaking of my personal blog, I couldn’t resist doing a quick post about
my new favorite way of getting traffic information, via my watch. See
Real-Time Traffic Via My MSN
Direct Spot Watch
for more on that.

Postscript: Gary Price has listed some additional real time traffic resources here

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