By ZAM KARIMbytz@thestar.com.my
GOOGLE Maps for Malaysia now features three major enhancements - two new layers (traffic and transit) for users to better plan their journey as well as a Bahasa Malaysia user interface.
The traffic layer provides real-time data on road congestions so that users can look for an alternative route when necessary, said Sajith Sivanandan, Google Malaysia country manager.
Colour coding system is used to show the traffic flow - red for choc-a-bloc, yellow for slow moving traffic and green for smooth flow.
However, at the moment the traffic information is only available for the Klang Valley area.
Google gathers the info from Google Maps users who anonymously contribute their driving speed through Google's traffic crowdsourcing feature, he said.
According to Sajith, the system needs a critical number of users to analyse the information successfully. Users will see is a grey line if there is no traffic information for the route.
"We don't guess so that's why we show no data," he said.
Google is in talk with several agencies like Spad (land public transport commision) and private data providers to increase the accuracy of its traffic info as well expand the feature to other cities.
For those who prefer to use public transport there's the handy Transit layer. It provides users with a step-by-step info travel options for the bus, LRT, monorail and Komuter.
Also, the addition of the Bahasa Malaysia user interface will allow users to navigate in the language that they are most comfortable with.