Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Updated Bike There! map and Google Earth

Posted by on July 25th, 2007 at 12:00 pm

This Google Earth screenshot shows the newly updated Metro Bike There! map overlayed with a 3-D satellite view of Portland.

It’s been two years since I first pointed out that Metro had made their awesome Bike There! map available for use with Google Earth.

This cool technology allowed you to get a 3-D, satellite photo view of Portland overlayed with the latest bike routes (and caution areas). You could do flyovers of your commute, explore and research new routes, and lots more!

The map was recently updated, so that meant a new file (Google Earth reads the .kmz file format) was needed to make it all work.

This morning, a reader (thanks Thomas!) forwarded me the new file and just a few minutes ago it popped up on Metro’s website. Below is another screenshot I snapped while playing with it this morning:

You can easily pan, zoom, and tilt the view to your liking. This angle is looking NW at Forest Park with Beaverton just beyond the hills.

It’s easy to get this set up on your computer. Here’s how:

  • Download the free Google Earth application onto your computer.
  • Then download this .kmz file of Metro’s Bike There! Map.
  • Open Google Earth on your computer, and then from within Google Earth, go to File > Open and open the “bike_there.kmz” file (that you just downloaded).
  • Use the dashboard in Google Earth to fly over the region. Tilt, pan, zoom, play around and geek out all you want!

If anyone has questions, feel free to ask in the comments. Metro’s map guy Mark Bosworth reads the site and will likely check in and get you some answers.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan

  • Matt Picio July 25, 2007 at 2:13 pm

    Does the kmz file still chug along as slowly as the old one? The prior one slowed Google Earth to a crawl.

    Great file, though – nice to have that map married with Google Maps\’ features.

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  • Ryan Knapper July 25, 2007 at 3:29 pm

    The map shows SW Grabhorn Rd. I _really_ don\’t think it should. For a long time my daily commute took me over that hill and it is _not_ bike-friendly. No shoulder whatsoever and too many turns to see what\’s ahead mean many cars get piled up behind the bikes.
    I\’ve even been passed by cars while in my car. This road is dangerous enough to drive on but biking there is irresponsible.

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  • DK July 25, 2007 at 3:43 pm

    If I took the old maps route, I would have made 30 turns by the time I got to the Interstate bridge, when I only need like 4. Hope this one works for everybody.

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  • matt July 25, 2007 at 4:26 pm

    Very cool, is there one for Seattle?

    Anyone interested in creating their own bike maps in Google Earth can do so at http://veloroutes.org, fyi.

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  • pibike July 25, 2007 at 5:17 pm

    I wonder how they determine the categories , like the kmz categorizes holgate and powell both as caution areas, yeah ok, but holgate is easily ridable whereas powell is absolutely not ridable.

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  • Mr. Viddy July 25, 2007 at 5:33 pm

    I downloaded the .kmz file and it rocks on my Google Earth, not slow at all. I dig it and even used it to plot a new route home from work today.


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  • Biking With Google Earth « I, Viddy July 25, 2007 at 5:38 pm

    […] Bike There Map and Google Earth […]

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  • q`Tzal January 20, 2012 at 10:17 am

    This has been unavailable on the Metro site for a bit. I still have the old file; if anyone wants a copy post to the forums.

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