Google Malaysia has introduced three major enhancements to Google Maps which will allow Malaysian commuters to better plan their journeys and to look up real time information – the enhancements consist of two new layers called Traffic and Transit as well as a Bahasa Malaysia interface.

Traffic, as its description suggests, provides data on real time road congestion right on the map. By turning on the Traffic layer on Maps, users can quickly see whether roads are congested or flowing freely, all based on colour coding — red for choc-a-bloc, yellow for slow moving, and green for smooth flowing. Drivers that are fairly well-versed with the roads can also use the information to plan alternative routes to their destination.

As for Transit, this one provides information on travel via the Malaysian public transportation system on Maps. Now, in areas with available transit data, if a user selects point-to-point directions, there is a third new option in addition to the familiar walking and driving directions.

Maps users will be able to view the step-by-step public transportation information, which includes bus, LRT, monorail and Komuter travel options. Users can also see where bus stops and train stations are located.

Traffic and Transit for Maps data comes from a variety of sources, including government departments of transportation, private data providers, and users of Google Maps for mobile, who contribute anonymous speed information through Google’s traffic crowdsourcing feature.

Lastly, Google Maps is now available in Bahasa Malaysia, giving Malay native speakers better accessibility and the option of interfacing and navigating with Google Maps using the language they are most comfortable with.

With 60% of Malaysians using Bahasa Malaysia as their primary language and with over 90% proficiency in the language nationwide, the localisation initiative should make it easier for Malaysians to get the most from Maps, says Google. All the enhancements are available on the desktop and mobile versions of Google Maps.