Thursday, December 31, 2009

Open letter to Google

Dear Mr Google,

First, let me say, your company is the best. I love Gmail, love Picassa, love the online documents, love, love the maps and what they do. That is why I am writing to you.

Your company is poised to take over. Microsoft is hampered by the anti-trust and Apple charges outrageous prices for their stuff. Whereas, Google, so far is free. Can't beat free.

Over a year ago I predicted that you, Mr.Google, would be in position to topple Apple. You serve the same populations, you are a cool company, your people look plenty geeky. So from my stand point, you are very similar to Apple. You make user friendly stuff. And you both do cool things.

I hear you have a prototype cell phone with your Google interface, turn by turn directions as part of the phone. Unlike the I Phone, that app cost $60.

You have taken map making to levels never dreamed of prior to computers. You have those nifty cars with cameras that go all over the globe. Unbelievable!

Google is in a great spot to do for cycling what all the cycling advocates cannot do. Make cycling mainstream. You are a green company, I see where you grow your own food for your cafteria. What better way to make an impact than to bring cycling to the forefront. There are many cycling advocacy groups, but nothing really that organized to make any kind of impact. With lots of biking stuff coming out of Google, folks would take notice.

Here are some suggestions Mr. Google:

1. Make the Google Map system GPS friendly, in that I could import my cues routes into Google Maps. That way I can do a search for stores, gas stations and what not along my cue route.

2. Overlay weather maps over your maps so that weather could be aligned with the streets. For example, I am in West Chester PA and I want to go to Lancaster to bike. I import my cue sheet from say My Bikely (Google should have a cue sheet making program, too ) and I can then overlay a weather map. Get instant weather reports for the roads I will biking on.

3. Using your broad network of gophers, have bike routes available as part of Google Maps. Again, such sites as My Bikely and Map my Ride have these. But the stuff is all over the network and many cannot find these resources.

4. List which roads are good for biking. Is it a 2 lane road, 4 lane road, busy with traffic etc.

5. Real time construction obstacles would also be handy. The local news stations do a lot of this stuff, so the technology is there, but not in a good place for folks to make use of.

6. Make the new phrase "googbike it" as mainstream as the phrase "google it"

Mr. Google, these are just some ideas, but I am looking for you and your company to take a stand and make cycling something that everyone would want to do. With more and more folks biking all over the place, the cities and towns would have to start accommodating this huge new population.

Thank you Mr. Google for taking the time to read my letter.


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