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Old 01-20-11, 11:34 AM   #1
Lamabb
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Maps

I'm using my own custom route going east to west along the northern part of the USA. I used online maps to plan my route but when I went into my local book stores to find maps to have on-hand.... all I found were maps of highways and heavy-traffic major roads.

I am not an AAA member, nor do I know anyone who is.

I am not following adventure cycling's Northern tier route, but my own.

I am not using a GPS, but rather, bringing a computer along with me with my route downloaded on it. But I don't want to rely on my laptop battery for navigation.

Does anyone know of maps that are detailed down to back roads?
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Old 01-20-11, 11:47 AM   #2
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Individual state maps are pretty good. Some state might even publish maps specific for bicycling. Iowa has such a great map what tells you the traffic density on the roads so you can pick nice country roads. All roads of this map are paved. You can get it at most bike stores. I guess I could send you one if your path goes through Iowa. Otherwise try to see if the state's tourist office will send you their road map and maybe inquire if their state has a specific bicycle maps.
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Old 01-20-11, 11:49 AM   #3
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DeLorme map books are very good , they have the details you seek,
though , bound by state, they are bulky. USGS maps are even more detailed.

Most Universities ,as part of their Geography department resources,
will have a map library.
and they will have a photocopier too..

then you can just bring 8x10 sections of the maps for your route.

... using either source.
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Old 01-20-11, 01:15 PM   #4
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County maps are pretty good too. But there are a bunch of counties along your path.
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Old 01-20-11, 02:14 PM   #5
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Our local library has a map section that can be photocopied. Or pick up state maps as you move along, or order for free from state tourism departments. County maps at courthouses, but as noted, sure be a lot of counties.

Or, plot your route on Google and print the entire thing. Detail level as needed. Cut and paste to make it more user friendly. I did that once and just discarded pages as I moved along. Worked pretty good.
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Old 01-20-11, 02:31 PM   #6
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In Canada, you would need paper maps at a scale of 1:50,000 or 1" per mile, to get the detail of secondary roads you are looking for. A prohibitive expense if you want full coverage across the country. 2" per mile (1:125,000) may be OK for detail, but still a prohibitive expense.

Can't you print computer screens online maps... the same views you used to plan your route. But it will be a lot of paper to carry in the beginning.
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Old 01-20-11, 02:47 PM   #7
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1) Go to your local Tourist Information centre. Quite often they have more detailed maps of specific areas ... the scenic routes etc.

2) Go to your local sporting goods stores, newsagencies, etc. ... again quite often they have more detailed maps of specific areas.

From where I'm sitting right now, I can see one Tourist Information map of an area we've cycled twice recently, and a small stack of what are sort of like ordnance maps which were picked up from a Tourist Information centre, a newsagency, and a small local grocery store. But I've seen those particular maps in several sporting goods stores too.

3) Find and buy ordnance maps.
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Old 01-20-11, 03:38 PM   #8
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Have some links:
Minnesota
Michigan
Iowa
Colorado
Washington
Montana - See the state map, not the bicycle map which is pretty crap.
Indiana

Those are just the ones I already knew of, or could find in five minutes. Some are more useful than others - the Michigan map is my favorite for showing NF campgrounds.

What I'd do is fill in the blank states for loose pages from a DeLorme Gazetteer, with my laptop map for backup.

Don't think you need to print and carry all these maps, either. Buy the delorme maps along the way and send them home when you're done. Print the online maps at libraries or copy places.

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Old 01-20-11, 03:43 PM   #9
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I don't know if this will help you much, but I recently discovered an easy way to overlay ACA's GPS data onto Google map, using

http://www.gpsvisualizer.com/

Just download the pertinent ACA route gps file, extract the .gpx files, then plug into gpsvisualizer using upload, and voila, google-mapped route with ACA datapoints indicating route and points of interest. Other map formats are also selectable to which you can add .gpx data.

You can also import ACA data into a custom Google map using Google maps import feature. You must have a google account (free) and be logged in to create custom Google maps in this manner.

There's probably a dozen more ways to do this of which I am unaware.
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Old 01-20-11, 03:50 PM   #10
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I'm a fan of bikely.com. I don't travel with a gps, though it works for those too. I use the note feature to create old-fashioned cue sheets.
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Old 01-20-11, 05:54 PM   #11
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I just picked up an excellent US road atlas at REI. It was published by(for?) National Geographic. Judging by the local roads shown on the map of our area, i would say the coverage is very good. All of our paved county roads are included.

I'm not much of a photographer but i can take a pic or two of your area so you can see for yourself.
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Old 01-21-11, 09:01 AM   #12
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I'm a fan of bikely.com.
+1 And it's been my experience that the elevation data is much better than MapMyRide.
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Old 01-21-11, 10:50 AM   #13
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Plan your route roughly before you leave, and buy county maps from gas stations as you go along.
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Old 01-21-11, 05:17 PM   #14
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I'm not much of a photographer but i can take a pic or two of your area so you can see for yourself.
keith
If you've got a cam with a screen that'll let you zoom on the image, one of the 'smart' phones, an ipad, etc, those may be viable options for easily creating e maps that you can retrieve at will. One more use for the device.
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Old 01-21-11, 05:22 PM   #15
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Plan your route roughly before you leave, and buy county maps from gas stations as you go along.
Maybe in China Yan, but not likely in US. Usually available at courthouses.

A Brit said in another forum: "Need an overglove? Just pick up one for free at the petrol station, the ones they have for use when you're pumping gas to keep it off your hands." Maybe there, but I've never seen them in the US.
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Old 01-24-11, 08:19 AM   #16
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I am a fan of using Google to print my route. I get my maps to a detail level of every county road and still have a couple miles in any direction from my route, just in case anything unforeseen comes up, or I like a different road. I then print a few overview maps just to be safe. Before my trip I cut the edges of the paper off and make squares, fold them up, and put them in my handlebar bag. I get about 8-10 miles on one sheet of paper, then I just rotate. Also, the small size allows me to handle them easily while riding...
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Old 01-24-11, 12:00 PM   #17
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For my upcoming TransAmerica ride, www.work2ride.com, I just downloaded the ACA .gpx map files and loaded them into Google Earth and downloaded Garmin BaseCamp on my laptop. Then I also got the AAA maps for my trip from a friend for free and highlighted the route all the way.

I have noticed that some detailed roads are missing, but for those rare occasions I am planning to use my smartphone with GPS to get me through. I donít want any electronics, including cycling computer, on my handlebars as I love them but donít want my ride to be about them.
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Old 01-24-11, 12:45 PM   #18
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I'll probably print out screenshots of my map online and print it out in at a zoom level where I can see most roads I could make a wrong turn on. I'll have to see how many pages i'll need and hopefully it won't be too big or take up too much space.

I don't want to count on finding libraries where I may pass them or miss them.
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Old 01-27-11, 04:06 PM   #19
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If you're willing to carry a netbook (or a GPS), you can get into very fine detail with computerized topo maps. Delorme GPS come with their Topo, and Garmin has something similar.

The problem you may run into with a GPS is that in some areas, to see the tiny back road you're on, you have to zoom in so far that you can't see any other roads or towns.
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Old 01-27-11, 06:58 PM   #20
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Delorme GPS come with their Topo
Any chance Delorme has a free software download like the Garmin Basecamp?

The problem with Google Earth on the laptop is it still needs a network connection to get the details unless you have a recent cache. Garmin Basecamp has a base series of maps that doesn't require internet access, but it doesn't have the small roads on it.

Any applications that has this offline? I am also trying to find a Android based application that lets you load GPX files?

I tried MyTrails as it says it supports offline maps and GPX files, but can't get the ACA GPX files to load.
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Old 01-27-11, 08:12 PM   #21
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I use GmapCatcher, I just download all the areas I am passing through on my netbook and i'll be bringing the netbook with me on tour. I'll also have print outs for times when it has no battery.
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Old 01-27-11, 08:32 PM   #22
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I use GmapCatcher, I just download all the areas I am passing through on my netbook and i'll be bringing the netbook with me on tour. I'll also have print outs for times when it has no battery.
Nice! I'd never heard of this before but I just downloaded it and seems to be a great option.
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Old 02-01-11, 04:16 AM   #23
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We have an ever-growing collection of Rooftop Maps: http://www.abcmaps.com.au/Rooftop.htm

These are incredibly detailed maps with indication of paved and gravel roads ... including all the little roads which won't normally appear on a petrol station road map. Some of the maps include elevation markings as well, to give an indication of how much climbing may be involved on a certain road. There are symbols for petrol staions, phone booths, toilets, and camping locations.

And ... these maps have comments such as, "This area contains large farming properties on hilly terrain, with no public access" or "The climb out of Falls Cr Reservoir is very difficult and after heavy rain the track is clay at this point" and "Bridge not crossable here". As well as comments regarding things to see, points of interest.

We're using these maps to plan weekend routes around the area where we live, and somewhat beyond ... to help us explore new roads and new areas.

Last edited by Machka; 02-01-11 at 04:21 AM.
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Old 02-01-11, 08:38 AM   #24
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On my cross USA trip I used a combo of AAA state maps and free maps from tourist information centers.

On one trip I tried to use DeLorme maps on a netbook but it was incredibly annoying - as soon as you zoom out far enough to get a big picture to plan a route, the roads disappear. And it takes power, and it takes time to dig it out of the bag and start it up. I like paper maps a lot better.

I would think by the time you finish printing a set of cross country maps, you'll be carrying a ream of paper and will have spent enough money on printer ink that you could just get an AAA membership.
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Old 02-01-11, 09:00 AM   #25
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If you coming to Thailand and looking for bicycle shops in Bangkok, you may wanna try "Bangkok big size maps" published by PN MAP.

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