Google Transit in Google Earth

Google Transit in Google EarthGoogle Transit is a Google Labs project whose objective is to provide information on public transportation schedules and routes in order to encourage better use of this mode of transportation. Currently available in over a dozen cities, and including most of Japan’s regional and national air and rail system and ferries, this is already an ambitious project. I just discovered that some of this information has apparently been available in Google Earth for some time. If you open the Layers folder for “Transportation” there is a “Transit” sublayer. If you turn the Transit layer on and visit one of the cities listed on the Google Transit site (e.g. San Diego, Seattle, Austin, Pittsburgh, Portland, Honolulu, …), you will see the routes for public transportation. If you zoom in closer you even see the bus stops, and links in the description will take you to the web site of the public transportation web site for that city.
What would be really cool is to fully link the ability to get real-time information. Check out the Google LatLong blog (the official Google blog for the Geo products Maps and Earth), which says that in some of the supported cities in Google Maps (not in Google Earth yet) they will tell you the next departure times for a specific bus stop! Try this in this map of Zurich for example (click on the little bus icons, then “View upcoming departures“). You can also search for specific bus stops like this “59th St – Columbus Circle Station, new york” (this works in GE too).
Apparently details about this support came from Googler Thomas Fly during a presentation some time ago. I’m surprised I hadn’t noticed it. via GoogleOperatingSystem blog. More information at WorldChanging.

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. How could i get the transit planner to include the local circulator in Doral, Miami-Dade County, Florida

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