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Old 04-25-07, 10:09 AM   #1
saj
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Mapping a Route

I'm interested in some tools (hopefully web-based) to map routes for long rides (tours?) One that I would like to do this summer is from northeastern IL to southwest WI.

Can anyone make recommedations? Is there anything out there like a Google Maps (i.e. put in start/end points), but specifically for bike friendly routes? It would be great if it could identify trail routes, county roads, etc.

Thanks!
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Old 04-25-07, 10:12 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saj
I'm interested in some tools (hopefully web-based) to map routes for long rides (tours?) One that I would like to do this summer is from northeastern IL to southwest WI.

Can anyone make recommedations? Is there anything out there like a Google Maps (i.e. put in start/end points), but specifically for bike friendly routes? It would be great if it could identify trail routes, county roads, etc.

Thanks!
www.routeslip.com
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Old 04-25-07, 11:01 AM   #3
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I don't particularily care for routeslips.com. It is the best I've found in terms of being able to save routes and come back to them. Unfortunately, it is terribly slow. My computer isn't that old, yet that site is extremely slow to work with. Really it's not worth spending the time to enter the data. Are you going to use those maps specifically for your ride?

I'm routing myself across the US right now. I'm typing up directions in word with north/south/east/west bearings as well as how long I should be riding for. For example, a typical instruction reads "
  • Turn right/east on to 140/Bethalto Dr./MacArthur Dr.. Ride for 12 miles into Hamel."
I use www.gmaps-pedometer.com to find the distances quickly and more easily than routeslips. If I come to a trick section, such as making many turns in a small town then I will hit the print screen buttong. I then go into photoshop and paste the image. In 30 seconds I can crop the image to only the parts I need then add numbers to the image. My typed directions are numbered. So I put numbers on the map telling me which number in my text I should be referring to.

That's what I'm doing. I prefer written instructions to maps though. It's all your own style. This way I can add personal identifiers though. I'm making sure to write "CHECK SUPPLIES" whenever I come into a town so I don't endanger myself. Then I can write things such as, "road eventually parallels river after 5 miles" so I can give myself landmarks.

When I'm done my routing across the US, hopefully by tomorrow, I'll post it on my thread for all to see and use. Just some suggestions. Matt
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Old 04-25-07, 11:04 AM   #4
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You're going to love touring the NW IL, SW WI areas. My wife and I rode in the Driftless Area in NW Illinois last year, and it was one of the best vacations we ever had. Here are some resources we used.

There are 3 mapping web sites sites reviewed here http://www.folksonspokes.com/createMaps.html

Another site with an interesting follow-the-road feature is http://www.toporoute.com/

The IL Department of Transportation provides maps with roads coded as to bicycle suitability. In Il, the printed maps are free and there are also on line versions. http://www.dot.state.il.us/bikemap/state.html

Wi has bike maps too, but I never used them for an actual trip. The PDF files show roads, but don't have road names
http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/travel/...t/bikemaps.htm

edit: One more thought.

The area you are riding through is part of the Grand Illinois Trail. Maps of are available from
The League of Illinois Bicyclists: http://bikelib.org/git/index.htm
and
The Open Lands project: http://www.openlands.org/git/index.asp

The two routes differ slighty in places with The Open Lands project taking roads less heavily travelled. Alternate route suggestions appear in some of the trip reports on the LIB site.

Last edited by Recycle; 04-25-07 at 11:16 AM.
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Old 04-25-07, 06:33 PM   #5
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Mapper

I use Microsaoft Map and Trips 2003 for planning.(Got it on Fleabay for $0.99 plus $4 shipping) You can go into the options and tell it you go for one hour and all the roads speed limits are 50 mph. It'll then put the "stop for the day" every fifity miles. No, I don't carry a lappy but it works well for planning. Also I have the 2005 version and it won't let you specify a speed limit just faster or slower than, I assume, what is posted.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 04-25-07, 06:53 PM   #6
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Yahoo maps recently got upgraded with a new interface. One of the features allows you to place the cross hairs on a road and right click -> "Drive to here," and it adds the destination to your itinerary. You can create a route simply by plotting some of its key points. It's not quite as good as mapping software, but it'll pass.
http://maps.yahoo.com/index.php (make sure to click broadband map in the top right if the old interface comes up)
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Old 04-25-07, 08:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by permanentjaun
I don't particularily care for routeslips.com. It is the best I've found in terms of being able to save routes and come back to them. Unfortunately, it is terribly slow. My computer isn't that old, yet that site is extremely slow to work with. Really it's not worth spending the time to enter the data. Are you going to use those maps specifically for your ride?

I'm routing myself across the US right now. I'm typing up directions in word with north/south/east/west bearings as well as how long I should be riding for. For example, a typical instruction reads "
  • Turn right/east on to 140/Bethalto Dr./MacArthur Dr.. Ride for 12 miles into Hamel."
I use www.gmaps-pedometer.com to find the distances quickly and more easily than routeslips. If I come to a trick section, such as making many turns in a small town then I will hit the print screen buttong. I then go into photoshop and paste the image. In 30 seconds I can crop the image to only the parts I need then add numbers to the image. My typed directions are numbered. So I put numbers on the map telling me which number in my text I should be referring to.

That's what I'm doing. I prefer written instructions to maps though. It's all your own style. This way I can add personal identifiers though. I'm making sure to write "CHECK SUPPLIES" whenever I come into a town so I don't endanger myself. Then I can write things such as, "road eventually parallels river after 5 miles" so I can give myself landmarks.

When I'm done my routing across the US, hopefully by tomorrow, I'll post it on my thread for all to see and use. Just some suggestions. Matt
Agreed on Gmaps Pedometer, it's a useful tool and I do the same thing for creating detail maps except for using GIMP instead of Photoshop.
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Old 04-28-07, 04:50 PM   #8
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The only advice I can give is be careful when using google or yahoo maps. I've found that road names on Google and Yahoo don't necessarily match what's posted on street signs.
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Old 04-28-07, 08:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saj
I'm interested in some tools (hopefully web-based) to map routes for long rides (tours?) One that I would like to do this summer is from northeastern IL to southwest WI.

Can anyone make recommedations? Is there anything out there like a Google Maps (i.e. put in start/end points), but specifically for bike friendly routes? It would be great if it could identify trail routes, county roads, etc.

Thanks!
The problem with all of those programs mentioned above is that they were designed for cars. The shortest distant between two points will also usually have the most traffic. To find good cycling routes involves more work - but most states now have AADT (Average Annual Daily Traffic) data on line. Sometimes it's just for state highways - but states like Wisconsin and Illinois have it for their county roads as well. Shoulders are important - especially if there is moderate+ traffic. But if you are on an empty back road, then shoulders aren't an issue.

For example:
Wisconsin main county bike map page -
http://www.dot.state.wi.us/travel/bi...countymaps.htm
Green County
http://www.dot.state.wi.us/travel/bi.../bikegreen.pdf
Wisconsin main county traffic volume page
http://www.dot.state.wi.us/travel/counts/maps.htm
Green County
http://www.dot.state.wi.us/travel/co.../green2004.pdf

By using both Green County maps you can choose the best roads for biking.
Even better if you use TopoZone.com topographic maps.

Generally speaking, the shortest route will have the most cars.
You have to be willing to do a few extra miles for the quality riding.

Best - J
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Old 04-28-07, 09:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamawani
The problem with all of those programs mentioned above is that they were designed for cars. The shortest distant between two points will also usually have the most traffic. To find good cycling routes involves more work -
Agreed.

The problem with using Streets and Trips or Google is the automatic feature often puts you on the expressway, interstate, parkway or turnpike! In other words, those direct quick routes can be very dangerous. Unfortunately, you'll need to make a lot of turns for the more indirect routes and this can mean getting lost!

This is why I use a GPS like Garmin were you can control the route making capability instead of having just using the auto route produce a dangerous route. Those bike maps would be really useful if they had GPS coordinates at turns.
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Old 04-29-07, 05:54 AM   #11
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www.bikely.com

Uses Google Maps interface, allows you to download GPX or KML files, and you can upload GPX files or draw directly on a map.
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Old 04-30-07, 04:57 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
Agreed.

The problem with using Streets and Trips or Google is the automatic feature often puts you on the expressway, interstate, parkway or turnpike!
Well, it's quite easy to select a series of waypoints such that the autoroute keeps you on local roads. Sure, it's a little bit of work, but it's much easier IMHO than trying to draw lines to follow the curvature of the road on many route planning sites. I use MS Mappoint and the new yahoo maps all the time, and it's not very hard to create bike friendly routes once you get the hang of it.
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Old 04-30-07, 05:04 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by cooleric1234
www.bikely.com

Uses Google Maps interface, allows you to download GPX or KML files, and you can upload GPX files or draw directly on a map.
+1
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Old 05-01-07, 04:20 AM   #14
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wayfaring.com
allows u 2 use google maps (hybrid or satellite or roads) and add waypoints with descriptions PLUS you can measure your route, ie, setting it up for 100km per day.
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Old 05-01-07, 04:55 AM   #15
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woah bikely looks awesome! i checked it a number of months ago and i think it was limited to the usa then. very likely beats out gmap-pedometer at this point.

gps gadgets cost like 3x as much in europe as they do in the usa.. but my sister is visiting in a couple weeks and shes gonna bring over one a new garmin etrex cx for me!!! i am already nerding out in anticipation.
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