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19 July 2017

Google quietly released a killer new feature in Google Maps

This route won't be too hard on my legs.
This route won’t be too hard on my legs.

Image: Google Maps/Stan Schroeder/Mashable

Google added a neat feature for cyclists in Google Maps in 2014. Whenever you asked for directions from point A to point B, Maps would also provide a little map with an estimated elevation for each part of the route. 

Now the same is true for walking directions. For each set of directions, you’ll get a little interactive map that shows you elevation changes and the overall climb and descent of the route. 

We’re not sure how long the feature has been live (we’ve asked Google to clarify), but we definitely haven’t seen it before. It worked for several people at Mashable in several regions, so we assume it’s live for everyone.

The feature, however, works only the desktop version of Google Maps. None of us were able to access it on our smartphones.

Image: Google Maps/Liza Hearon/Mashable

The neat little feature could be a life-saver for people with mobility issues, who can now choose alternative routes to avoid steep climbs. It’s also very useful to hikers who can now plan for tougher/easier routes depending on their fitness and skill level. 

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