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Route planning software?

Old 12-28-05, 07:29 PM
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Route planning software?

Anyone use mapping/route planning software to plan out your tours? I've got Microsoft Streets and Trips, but it always sends me on freeways, no back roads.

Any suggestions on good programs, or do you all just use good old paper maps?
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Old 12-28-05, 07:52 PM
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Did you ever try this freebie:

https://www.gmap-pedometer.com/

There's a limit on how many points--don't know exactly how many--that affects how quickly it determines mileage.

A new feature has been added--elevation along the travelled route.
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Old 12-28-05, 08:06 PM
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Street and Trips has options to avoid Interstates and the like. I just plotted a trip from Pittsburgh to Erie and it took some back roads that shouldn't be too much of a problem. It did use Route 19 near Pittsburgh and I would probably pick a different route.

Garmin's City Select has the option of setting routing to bicycle. In addition, you can select specific roads or areas to avoid. You would have the option of downloading to a GPS and then routing on the fly. I just used this option today. No spare inner tube and the problem tube had multiple punctures. It was a lot easier routing and picking the quickest walk back. It's a shame because we had 55F today when the normal temp is somewhere around 30F. A little rain but other wise perfect day. That will be the last time I leave the house with less than two spares. Hopefully it will not rain too hard tomorrow and I'll try again before the bottom falls out of the weather.
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Old 12-28-05, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by NoRacer
Did you ever try this freebie:

https://www.gmap-pedometer.com/

There's a limit on how many points--don't know exactly how many--that affects how quickly it determines mileage.

A new feature has been added--elevation along the travelled route.

Pretty cool but it does not seem to have the routing features as the OP requested (or at least I can't get it to route).

I like the hybrid feature but I have yet to figure out the whole elevation thing when creating the points.
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Old 12-28-05, 08:43 PM
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I use Delorme's Topo USA 4.0. It really gives you quite a bit of detail about the routes(topgraphical profiles of routes, elavation). I have only been using it for a few months and quite haven't the hang of all of the features. My biggest problem is removing enough detail to have to print out be usable(operator error). I still carry a folded copy of Delorme Gazetteer in a backpack when headed into unknown terrain.
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Old 12-28-05, 09:09 PM
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I bought a copy of Topo and so far have been VERY disappointed.

The mapping part is a tremendous achievement but the user interface is absolutely the WORST I've seen since I began using computers in 1963. It is user hostile to an extent that Unix only dreamed of. It has no manual and the HELP files are about as useable as a jab in the eye with a sharp stick.

You can accidently open up windows and then not be able to close them down. There isn't a SINGLE obvious command in the entire repertoir. For instance: on every other mapping program in the world you click on a point to center it on the screen. Not in Topo. You can left click to zoom in or out. Not in Topo. You can click on the screen and pull it right or left, up or down. Not in Topo. You can left click in a window to get a menu of what you can do in that window LIKE CLOSE THE WINDOW. Not in Topo.

In fact Topo has the crappiest interface imaginable and I'm sure that if they had better imaginations it WOULD be crappier.

Now as I said, the ACTUAL MAPS are fantastic - the detail is better than anything I've ever seen. It even shows unpaved fire roads and even some hiking trails! But it simply isn't useable by normal people.

I give Topo 4.0 an F------.
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Old 12-29-05, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclintom
I bought a copy of Topo and so far have been VERY disappointed.

The mapping part is a tremendous achievement but the user interface is absolutely the WORST I've seen since I began using computers in 1963. It is user hostile to an extent that Unix only dreamed of. It has no manual and the HELP files are about as useable as a jab in the eye with a sharp stick.

You can accidently open up windows and then not be able to close them down. There isn't a SINGLE obvious command in the entire repertoir. For instance: on every other mapping program in the world you click on a point to center it on the screen. Not in Topo. You can left click to zoom in or out. Not in Topo. You can click on the screen and pull it right or left, up or down. Not in Topo. You can left click in a window to get a menu of what you can do in that window LIKE CLOSE THE WINDOW. Not in Topo.

In fact Topo has the crappiest interface imaginable and I'm sure that if they had better imaginations it WOULD be crappier.

Now as I said, the ACTUAL MAPS are fantastic - the detail is better than anything I've ever seen. It even shows unpaved fire roads and even some hiking trails! But it simply isn't useable by normal people.

I give Topo 4.0 an F------.
Curious. I have been using TopoUSA for several years and don't seem to have much trouble. While the user interface is a bit different than the typical windows program, it works just fine for my. I guess I'm and abnormal person.

By the way, left clicking on the map does center the point where you clicked - as expected.

One good feature in TopoUSA is that you can specify preferences for using the various street types (Interstate, secondary road, etc.) as well as your speed for each of these. This combination makes it easy to get TopoUSA to create more cycle-friendly routes.
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Old 12-29-05, 06:33 PM
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I use paper maps only for planning routes.They give you a minimal and maximal elevation point, I add 25 % for 2500 m daily elevation at most. This is sufficient for all my rides since many years.
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Old 12-29-05, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by spinnaker
Pretty cool but it does not seem to have the routing features as the OP requested (or at least I can't get it to route).

I like the hybrid feature but I have yet to figure out the whole elevation thing when creating the points.

Apparently, you did not read the directions regarding how to use this tool.

Here's a route that I just plotted of a century ride that I'm anticipating doing in the Spring using gmap:

https://tinyurl.com/e2ew5

Last edited by NoRacer; 12-29-05 at 08:11 PM.
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Old 12-29-05, 08:24 PM
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I too use streets and trips. I just turn off the highway option and turn up the alternate roads and it gives me a pretty decent map route. I do compair it to a state hwy map also to be safe. You can use a free program to convert gps way points to pins in streets and trips--kinda cool. Thats how Im planning the next trip this summer--northern tier.
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Old 12-29-05, 08:26 PM
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For anyone interested its here--https://www.gpsbabel.org/
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Old 12-29-05, 08:31 PM
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FYI - I just found this one...seems pretty neat...

www.bikejournal.com
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Old 12-30-05, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by AndyGrow
Anyone use mapping/route planning software to plan out your tours? I've got Microsoft Streets and Trips, but it always sends me on freeways, no back roads.

Any suggestions on good programs, or do you all just use good old paper maps?
I have found that Topo does have more learning curve than I would like for it to have; however, I have found it to do more for me in knowledeably planning for tours than anyother software that I have accessed. I have gotten myself in to some pretty remote areas in the Appalachians and have need this software to enable me to plan for mountain creek water sources (e.g., the northern end of the Blue Ridge Pkwy in the dead of summer).
As another contributor noted below, I, as well, like to use Topo in conjunction with the hardcopy versions of the Delorme maps for each State. The hardcopies provide a preprinted big picture...whereas the software'll take you down to level of the woodpeckers, pine cones and porkiepines.
Later.
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Old 12-30-05, 06:04 PM
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I better change that link I posted...check out this planning webpage...pretty cool!

https://www.favoriterun.com/
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