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Map My Ride is no good!! What do y'all use thats more accurate elevation???

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Map My Ride is no good!! What do y'all use thats more accurate elevation???

Old 11-16-11, 11:01 AM
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jimmyw
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Map My Ride is no good!! What do y'all use thats more accurate elevation???

I'm just curious what other people use to map their training rides. I used to use map my ride since its free and easy but I discovered that the elevation profiles are not even close. I actually mapped several confirmed race courses and found that map my ride is often thousands of feet off the confirmed measurements. (I mapped a 14 mile course that is 1576 ft of gain and map my ride only said it was 352 ft)
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Old 11-16-11, 11:25 AM
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I use www.ridewithgps.com, but I can't vouch for it being more accurate than mmr.
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Old 11-16-11, 11:34 AM
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Juan Foote
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You do know that the shortcoming likely lies in your device more so than the program you are using?
I have found with MMR that the mileage is always a tad higher than it is on my cyclocomputer as well. I use it as a general course/workout keeper w/o having to go in and map it myself, etc. and it works well for that. If you are looking for something more accurate, I suggest you quit messing with phone apps and look into a cycling specific GPS unit like a Garmin or the like. I don't know if you have ever paid close attention to the route details that come in off your phone, but have you also noticed your ride going through the middle of people's homes, stores, off in the woods, etc?
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Old 11-16-11, 12:19 PM
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I use a Garmin 705 and upload it to Strata and to Garmin connect. I am very happy with both of them but Strata is my favorite.
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Old 11-16-11, 12:26 PM
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I like Mapmyride in general, but yes they have a fatal flaw in elevation reporting when designing a course. From my understanding their elevation algorithm does this to "equalize" routes between different parts of the country to compare efforts on say a mountain route to a rolling hill route.

Rides here in eastern MA generally have elevation gains of 40 to 70 ft per mile. You can really feel the difference between the two and average speed is greatly affected between a 50 mile ride with 2,000 ft or a 50 mile ride with 3,500 ft. When taking out other cyclists, especially new ones, I need accurate info to pick a route in my Garmin. I also name many routes with a name+mileage+elevation per mile number so I know scrolling through my Edge.

I have used Mapitpronto for basic route designing with accurate elevations, but no personnal course saving ability.
I've also started using gpsies.com a lot and their newish route planning. I like the full screen ability and huge assortment of map options, plus you can alter the course by dragging each point. Elevations seem on par with other reliable sites.

If Garmin Connect offered elevations, and accurate enough numbers, I think they would have a good route planning site as well.

No two websites seem to come up with the same total ascent for the same route, but many are usually fairly close. If you have a Garmin with a barometric altimeter, then do a ride and compare that ascent number to the route planning websites to find the more accurate ones.

Last edited by teterider; 11-16-11 at 12:59 PM.
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Old 11-16-11, 12:51 PM
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Unless you are a surveyor, its hard to know what the "real" elevation is. Garmin connect has the option to correct your device recorded elevations with known survey elevations, but I dont think that data is 100% either.

Just consider all of it estimates.
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Old 11-16-11, 12:56 PM
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I use a GPS.
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Old 11-16-11, 01:01 PM
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topo map?
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Old 11-16-11, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeB14 View Post
I use www.ridewithgps.com, but I can't vouch for it being more accurate than mmr.
I have been using MMR since I saw the ad last summer. I have been very pleased with being able to keep my rides logged there, but I have never been able to get a feel for the altitude of my rides since I know the altitude measurements, particularly if the ride is long, are averaged over too long an interval to be precise. Just mapped my commute route on ridewithgps, and I am a convert. I have used topo maps to calculate the grade on the hills coming home, and the ridewithgps is more accurate than MMR, per the topo result. I think the resolution still isn't the best, but if I am so cheap as to not use a gps on my bike, how much can I complain?
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Old 11-16-11, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by david58 View Post
but if I am so cheap as to not use a gps on my bike, how much can I complain?
I was kind of thinking the same thing when I first read the thread, I agree 100%.
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Old 11-16-11, 04:59 PM
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the only GPS i have on my bike is strava running on my iphone. however, i ride with a few people who have other devices - garmin and powertap computer - so we've been able to compare some of the online maps to their devices. findings:

1. mapmyride sucks. horribly. the map part might be fine, but the elevation is waayyyy off.
2. no 2 sites agree with each other, and neither do any 2 on-bike devices.
3. no website agrees exactly with any on-bike device.

that said, the garmin and the powertap computer are closer to each other than any of the websites are. ridewithgps seems to be closest to the devices. i sometimes map with trainingpeaks, but that seems to be a little high, although not as far off as mapmyride.
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Old 11-16-11, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Pete In Az View Post
topo map?
1+

Google maps has a topo map I use if I need information about a climb on a race course.
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Old 11-16-11, 05:14 PM
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To map a route I use www.ridewithgps.com.
To record a ride I use Garmin connect and Strava.
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Old 11-16-11, 05:17 PM
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Strata and Garmin. mapmyride is not accurate, but is damn easy to use.
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Old 11-16-11, 06:25 PM
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Ridewithgps agrees reasonably well with my Garmin. More important: Ridewithgps provides a good relative measure form course to course. There are any number of algorithms that can be applied to calculate "gain" so it's no wonder that no two sites come up with the same total ascent.
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Old 11-16-11, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmyw View Post
(I mapped a 14 mile course that is 1576 ft of gain and map my ride only said it was 352 ft)
There is no definitive and agreed upon method for calculating elevation gain so every site/gps device will be different. Most sites, including mapmyride, will give you the start and end elevations for each major climb and that should be sufficient.
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Old 11-16-11, 07:47 PM
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The problem isn't the software so much, it's the fact that you are trying to do elevation with GPS. GPS is really designed for longitude + latitude and not elevation. But the more satellites you can simultaneously get for a single reading, the more accurate your altitude is likely to be. If you really want true elevation readings, you need an altimeter. I don't really see many folks riding around with those.
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Old 11-16-11, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by haaseg View Post
If you really want true elevation readings, you need an altimeter. I don't really see many folks riding around with those.
Except for every second bike rider with a $250 garmin 500.
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Old 11-16-11, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by haaseg View Post
The problem isn't the software so much, it's the fact that you are trying to do elevation with GPS. GPS is really designed for longitude + latitude and not elevation. But the more satellites you can simultaneously get for a single reading, the more accurate your altitude is likely to be. If you really want true elevation readings, you need an altimeter. I don't really see many folks riding around with those.
Is the altitude coming from the GPS, or from the mapping software?

edit: Shoulda looked first. Answer - "yes." But the error can easily be +/-75', or way less, or way, way more. For us civilian folk, that would tell us that for shorter climbs, the absolute error is greater on those than on climbs that are of greater altitude.

Last edited by david58; 11-16-11 at 08:38 PM.
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Old 11-16-11, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
Except for every second bike rider with a $250 garmin 500.
I did not realize this. And now I want one.
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Old 11-16-11, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by haaseg View Post
I did not realize this. And now I want one.
Yes, this is the advantage to real cyclocomputers. A real altimeter. They also typically have two GPS antennae which gives them a faster, more accurate signal.
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Old 11-16-11, 11:48 PM
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I use MotionX-GPS and Cyclemeter on my iPhone.
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Old 11-16-11, 11:58 PM
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Originally Posted by haaseg View Post
The problem isn't the software so much, it's the fact that you are trying to do elevation with GPS. GPS is really designed for longitude + latitude and not elevation. But the more satellites you can simultaneously get for a single reading, the more accurate your altitude is likely to be. If you really want true elevation readings, you need an altimeter. I don't really see many folks riding around with those.
I just read that civilian GPS systems are limited to an accuracy of 50 feet. Meaning that it's impossible to get nats-ass accuracy out of a GPS.
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Old 11-17-11, 01:22 AM
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Originally Posted by pgjackson View Post
I just read that civilian GPS systems are limited to an accuracy of 50 feet. Meaning that it's impossible to get nats-ass accuracy out of a GPS.
Well then you heard incorrectly. Civilian units have no accuracy limitations, however they are usually limited in ways to keep them from being used in a missile (for instance, they may not work at 1200mph or at 60,000ft altitude). It is very uncommon for civilian units to have 1ft accuracy, but that is about cost/size and the fact that 1ft accuracy simply isn't important in 99% of applications.

Garmin units can at least get down to 10ft or so, but with tree cover or buildings could certainly be 50ft or more off.

The accuracy of the altimeter readings are unrelated to any of this.
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Old 11-17-11, 01:58 AM
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My cyclocomputer VDO MC1.0+ has an altimeter. It is fairly accurate, depending on the amount of time since recalibrating at the start of the ride and changing atmospheric conditions, it's been a close as 1ft, and off as much as 30ft, compared to a surveyed elevation. The grade% feature is nice to have too.
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