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cool trip-planning website: RouteLoops

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cool trip-planning website: RouteLoops

Old 07-28-10, 10:17 PM
  #1  
mtalinm
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cool trip-planning website: RouteLoops

have been using this website that helps you plan circular routes from a starting point. so, if you want to ride a 50 mile loop from your house, just type in your address and "50", it does the rest:

https://www.routeloops.com/

And if you don't like the route it came up with, you just click again to get a new one. you can save links to routes or generate GPX/TCX files.

I find that it does a bit more turns than I would like - a bit of a work in progress - but is nonetheless useful

enjoy!

(Note: I am not the developer, relative of the developer, friend of the developer, etc. just a fan.)
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Old 07-28-10, 10:33 PM
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Very interesting. Thanks for the tip.
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Old 07-28-10, 11:40 PM
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Looks neat, picking some odd routes and sometimes it doesn't work at all. But it will be fun to play with, thanks.
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Old 07-28-10, 11:42 PM
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Like it, but wish the map were larger.
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Old 07-29-10, 03:06 AM
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Wont recognize my address
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Old 07-29-10, 07:52 AM
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Seems to be some bugs. When I type in my address, it picks the starting point for the ride about 10 miles off shore in the Atlantic Ocean.
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Old 07-29-10, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
Seems to be some bugs. When I type in my address, it picks the starting point for the ride about 10 miles off shore in the Atlantic Ocean.
Maybe there's some great riding out there it wants you to try?
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Old 07-29-10, 08:04 AM
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Instead of entering the address, I clicked on the map for my starting point. The map is off for my neighborhood, with the street names fouled up.

But it did do a route. Unfortunately, it was a pretty stupid route.

Unless they get bugs worked out, I don't see this going very far at all. If they do get some bugs worked out, it could be somewhat interesting to play with, but I don't see it coming to much as a stand alone site.

I think their best hope would be to sell the software to Map My Ride, or Ride with GPS, so it can be integrated into a broader Mapping site as a feature.
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Old 07-29-10, 08:05 AM
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Interesting. Definitely way too many turns though, but could give a rough idea of a different route to try sometime.
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Old 07-29-10, 08:46 AM
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Unlike mtalinm, I *am* the developer of the RouteLoops site, and I'm very happy to have this group kicking the crud out of the application. I'll monitor the comments here, but if you feel like using the "Feedback" link at the site itself, that's also a good way to make sure that the comments are in the queue to be worked on.

A few responses:
* Finding addresses can be hard. (Yes, Google does it very well.) Formatting them correctly might help. See the comments in the Help link on the site.
* If the route seems "off the roads", try looking at it over the Google Map option. (Press the "+" sign on the map to open that menu.)
* If the route seems to have some major issue, please send me a permalink of your route. It will help us debug.
* "Too many turns." I've got it. The good news is that that can be addressed; the less good news is that it's some fairly complicated algorithm work. It's definitely on the roadmap (no pun intended).

Like Creatre, I use the application to find rough ideas of new routes to try. They are not all gems, but I often discover new places that I can then put into my repertoire of roads I like to ride.

Keep the feedback coming.
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Old 07-29-10, 08:50 AM
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US only. Bummer.
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Old 07-29-10, 09:04 AM
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lchinitz - curious why you're not using Google Maps API?
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Old 07-29-10, 09:08 AM
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I know, I know. Make a comment on the site about that, too. But FYI, Canada is the next target. I'm pretty sure we can do that quickly.
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Old 07-29-10, 09:14 AM
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As far as I know, the Google Maps API lets you draw on top of the Google Map, but you don't have access to the database itself. Doing what RouteLoops is doing is kind of tricky. It's one thing to route from point A to point B when someone clicks on the map (Google Maps, Bike Route Toaster, etc.) but it's entirely different to generate a closed loop of a specified distance given only the base location. To do that, we need to "look ahead" at all of the possible intersections and then apply some logic to decide what to do. That means that you need to be able to see into the database. Again, as far as I know the Google Maps API doesn't provide that level of visibility. If you know more, let me know if I'm wrong.

(P.S. You *can* view your route generated by RouteLoops on top of the Google Map using that API. Click on the "+" sign that you see on the map, and when that menu opens, choose Google Map, instead of Base Map, and you will see your RouteLoops generated route on top of the Google Map.)
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Old 07-29-10, 09:19 AM
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I sent some feedback to your site. I would think you could do something like the following using the API. get starting point, find all zips within X/2 miles of that, specify 25% of the drive E, then 25% W...etc, back to starting point - leaving the actual mapping to the API. Of course, I think you'd have to use more zip codes or lat/lon than addresses or lat/long following roads - which could get tricky. I'll do some digging and see what I find.

Very nice though! Good work!
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Old 07-29-10, 09:46 AM
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I'm doing 75 today - the route it suggested has 179 turns.
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Old 07-29-10, 11:09 AM
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Thanks for sharing. Some neat and interesting routes - I like that - the export functionality
Well, I would NOT rely at all on the GPX file (I imported it into mapping SW and, ewwww)

The tcx file goes very nicely into topofusion and I can convert it to a usable route in maptech or kml for google earth.
For maptech I have to save as a gpx, import as track and convert to route. Not sure how to do that in topofusion
But the reality is that if I have paved roads and a map then a GPS can let me know where I am if I get off course. I sure don't need to navigate quite like I would in the woods. Though I have never used a bike GPS - just one for the car and a handheld.
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Old 07-29-10, 11:10 AM
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If you're looking into a database to find things like what type of road something is, and presumably whether it's one-way or not, do you have access to elevation data? Some of the routes you've chosen, even at the default very short 7.5 mile setting, would take a person up some gargantuan hills. One route it created doesn't leave my neighborhood, but would involve about 2,000 feet of climbing. Sometimes I'm in the mood for that, but other times ( the following day? ) I'm not. It would be nice to have the option to specify how hilly a route should be.

It's picked out a ride I actually do and enjoy. Your algorithm seems biased against bridges, or maybe water front - hitting "new route" several times comes up with some interesting suggestions, but none of them circle the lake I live on the shore of. Even if I put in the exact distance of that ride ... in which case, the routes it suggests go a little over. In fact, I just asked for 50 miles, and got 94.7.

I think it's a very good idea, and I'll probably use it to give me suggestions on where to explore. Left to my own devices, I do a lot of riding, but find myself in the same handful of places over and over again.

If possible, you should figure out how to make it avoid lollipop loops.
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Old 07-29-10, 12:28 PM
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@jdott:

Ouch. I agree, 179 turns is a lot. To be honest, I almost always use the results by putting the TCX file into my Garmin Edge, so even though there may be a lot of turns, it's not that bad. (Years ago, when I first wrote this, I could only print out cue sheets. That was fairly painful.)

However, no question about it, a focus on generating routes with fewer overall "directions" needed is high on the priority list.
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Old 07-29-10, 12:30 PM
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@Seattle Forrest

Your ideas are all excellent. At the moment our database does NOT have either topographic or even one-way street information. But as we progress, that's exactly the kind of enhancements we would like to have.
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Old 07-29-10, 12:37 PM
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I tried the google maps option and it was not jutified at all - that is the map retained its structure but did not correlate to the roads on the google map. The street map was on.
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Old 07-29-10, 12:54 PM
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how does a TCX solve the # of turns problem? you still have to turn at all those points, no? or do you just mean that you don' htave to print out a long cue sheet?

Originally Posted by lchinitz View Post
@jdott:

Ouch. I agree, 179 turns is a lot. To be honest, I almost always use the results by putting the TCX file into my Garmin Edge, so even though there may be a lot of turns, it's not that bad. (Years ago, when I first wrote this, I could only print out cue sheets. That was fairly painful.)

However, no question about it, a focus on generating routes with fewer overall "directions" needed is high on the priority list.
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Old 07-29-10, 01:01 PM
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Yes, that's all I mean. Solving the basic problem will take a little more time.
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Old 07-29-10, 01:02 PM
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Do you mind sending me a permalink of the map you are looking at where you see this problem? You don't need to reply to the whole group. You can send me a private message, or even post it to the feedback page of the RouteLoops site. I'd like to see if I can understand what you are seeing.

Thanks.
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Old 07-29-10, 01:57 PM
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Great idea! I have just been pining for some new routes. Ideal I think would be if they were as straight as possible, and thus easily remembered.

As with Google Maps, I wish it had an "avoid shady neighborhoods" option !
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