Google is preparing to add 2000 miles of additional travel routes to the map for the British Isles, specifically, Wales and England. While these waterways, like the River Thames, for instance, are already visible on Google Maps, they aren't included as travel routes. To accomplish this goal, Google is working with the Canal River and Trust organization, which will identify pertinent information for Google to include like bridges and waterway access points.
In the BBC's Technology section, a spokesperson from the Canal River and Trust offered these comments about the Google Map expansion:
"Say, I'm by a canal in Paddington and I want to go to Camden, and I put this information into Google Maps as a walking route - it wouldn't send me to the canal, even though it's a nice green route to get there, it would send me by road," the Trust's spokesman Jonathan Ludford told the BBC.
While English canals are not as famous as their Venetian counterparts, they are extensively used by British citizens and the inclusion of the waterways data will only be beneficial:
"It's a very exciting project - Google is basically putting the canal network of England and Wales on the map, and people will be able to put in a route and if it's appropriate to go by canal, they would go by canal," [Ludford] said. "A lot of people live by canals, and we want them to use these canals - so to have Google promoting the waterways is a really exciting initiative."
Aside from assisting those that already use canals as transportation routes, you get the idea that Google and the Canal River and Trust collective is suggesting these waterways as alternative routes for travelers. Naturally, having a vehicle capable of water travel is a necessity.