Google Earth Gains Live Traffic Info

    August 21, 2007

We’re still waiting to see this feature spread to more cities, but in the meantime, it’s spread to another program.  Now users of Google Earth can see the same real time traffic info that was once available only in Google Maps.

“By enabling the ‘Traffic’ layer in Google Earth, you can see a real time picture of traffic conditions to help plan a route or just check out how bad traffic might be in a city that you’re exploring,” announced Mark Tsui, a software engineer, on the Google LatLong Blog.  “It’s useful information to have at your fingertips whether you’re house hunting or just browsing.”

Or wanting to make fun of a friend who’s moving to L.A.  You know – “ha, ha, it’ll take you 16 hours to get to work.”

In any event, the Google Earth traffic layer is pretty user-friendly, and as the Digital Earth Blog states, “Sometimes simple is better.”  The same entry goes on to explain, “The traffic is shown as a series of dots along the highway.  Green=fast, yellow=ok, red=slow.   The dots are clickable and provide you with the current speed . . .”

Works for me.  Now if Google would just get around to expanding its real time traffic program, so that more of the country could use it on a daily basis.