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Google maps time accuracy

Hello! In your experience, how accurate is the time that Google maps gives a route? Most of my driving will be on the Ring Road, with a detour from that road for Siglufjörður, around that peninsula. This will be late August/early September. (I did a mountain drive to a U.S. National Monument once where the Monument's website said noooo, Google maps is wrong.) If a Google route says 4 hours - is that relatively accurate? Thank you.

Posted by
15489 posts

Real time is fairly close to what Google predicts. The way Google Maps forecasts time is by crowdsourcing data from users who have toggled their location to 'on' in the Google Maps app. Google collects information about the current traffic conditions from its users who share their geographic location with the app. So the predicted time is the average time based on the average speed that Google collects from users/drivers on that road. If a road is travelled by many Google Map Users sharing their location, the forecast will be more accurate compared to a road that is rarely traveled. Consider however that Google Maps does not factor in pit stops for taking pictures or using the restroom.

Posted by
2252 posts

We have been to Iceland 6 times and so far the Google maps estimates are pretty darn close. The drive up and around the Trollaskagi Peninsula is beautiful!! We did this route when we did the ring road, and the drive time was accurate for us, and that was late August, FWIW.

Posted by
10 posts

Thank you, Roberto I do understand how Google Maps is supposed to work - I just wanted to know its accuracy in Iceland, like I personally experienced in mountainous New Mexico, US. I have a fair amount of driving planned on a couple of days, and being off by a factor of 25% (as I experienced with the Google Maps estimate in NM) would be rough.

Yay, mikliz97, that is exactly what I'd hoped! Especially with the same time of year. To have plenty of time to stop and enjoy, and take short hikes, we are still going to have to get up and moving on two of our travel days. I appreciate knowing that it's pretty accurate for the driving time. I'm also glad I picked a pretty peninsula (though I'm sure they all are pretty decent on the eyes...)

Posted by
2252 posts

Dulcey--I have yet to find an ugly drive in Iceland, there is so much eye candy that you are constantly looking around and beautiful scenery:) I really like Wanderlog for trip planning, and it gives drive times as well. I like that you can put in say your hotel, and then your next destination, and it will automatically tel you how far it is, and if you get the pro version ($49 a year) you can "optimize route" which if you put in a lot of destinations for a day it will put them in the most logical order. I have used that for a number of trips and it works really well. I used it for a 17 day trip to Iceland last summer and it was spot on for drive times, even up in the Westfjords where the roads are quite rough.

Posted by
10 posts

Thanks for the Wanderlog tip, mikliz97, I will take a look at it! I really appreciate it. It sounds really useful.

Posted by
187 posts

I plan to get a SIM card in Iceland use Google Maps exclusively. Going all over the island. Presuming I can find some dead spots here and there in coverage but wondering what people's experiences are in getting Google Maps coverage.

Posted by
2252 posts

pastors--We had coverage everywhere, even very remote places. If it went out at all, it was only for a few minutes as we have never noticed it. We do take the rental vehicle portable wifi unit with us though, so we have that just in case.

Posted by
10 posts

I can't speak to Iceland, pastorash, but for backup, I will download something that will work with GPS only. The one I use is maps.me. I think you can have maybe 10 free maps. You can save/bookmark places on it, search for places, navigate without cell coverage. Iceland has one map for the whole country, so you could download and spend time personalizing your map with destinations, gas stations, etc. (I'm going to do this, in addition to purchasing an esim.) I have used it in Canada, where I don't have cell coverage. It is not as good as Google maps - when I used it, I was trying to take a turn on what looked like intersecting streets in Toronto - nope, one was in a ravine. This was 5 years ago, it could be different now. I still download it as a backup, and have recently used it to get to trailheads that are too remote from my cell coverage for Google Maps to work if I have foolishly closed the Google Maps app.