Google Maps gets traffic reports

Traffic congestions are displayed on a colour overlay on the Maps application

Google has added traffic information to its popular Google Maps service. The feature covers Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney and surrounding areas such as the Central and Sunshine Coasts, and offers a regular update of traffic conditions.

Accessible by clicking the button labelled ‘Traffic’ at the top of the map, users are able to view the level of traffic congestion in a particular area via a colour-coded overlay. Green represents the least congested area, followed by yellow, red and black.

The service is also available in Google Maps for mobile and is updated on the site every few minutes. Traffic information is provided by Intelmatics Australia augmented with anonymous user information sent from enabled mobile phones.

In a statement, product manager for Google, Andrew Foster, said features to protect individual contributor’s privacy were built into the service from the start.

“We only use anonymous speed and location information to calculate traffic conditions, and only do so when you have chosen to enable My Location on your phone,” he said.

The service is available at