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Old 03-14-13, 12:14 PM   #1
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Route planning tips?

B. I. (Before Internet) and after , too I've used Delorme gazetteers and local maps to plan routes. Now I'm looking into using Google Maps/Earth to do my route planning. I was wondering what programs/sites you all have been using to plan routes for tours/trips and any tips to get the most out of them. At some point (soon, I promise!)when I get a GPS to replace a cue sheet it'd be nice to load it all up and just go.

I know you folks are doing just that so can you help me join the 21'st Century?
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Old 03-14-13, 01:59 PM   #2
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This thread has an extensive list of sites and other recommendations:
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Old 03-14-13, 02:13 PM   #3
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Still not a Tech type Having Ordinance Survey Maps bought in Book sellers in UK and Ireland
Even the Delorme maps , lack the sites of Castles and the like, noted on them.
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Old 03-14-13, 06:18 PM   #4
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Mostly by large scale paper maps for me. I often peek at roads on internet satelite imaging sites (not particular about which I use), frequently carry pages photocoppied from DeLorme or Benchmark atlases, and occasionally plot out short sections on Mapmyride (used to use Bikely, but can`t get it to work any more). My portable GPS receiver went back to the store it came from when I realized that making it cooperate with my computer was beyond my technical grasp.
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Old 03-14-13, 06:47 PM   #5
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If a good state/county bike specific map is available, great. They can easily be found via an internet search, for example next door to me in Wisconsin I can use their bike maps either in printed form or online.

But some areas don't have good bike maps (right now, Minnesota hasn't updated its state bike map for over a decade, and even then it wasn't good). So what to do?

Now this is probably more than what some people are willing to do, but I look online at county maps from the state DOT to find out what minor roads are paved (these county maps almost always are downloadable). I also check out possibilities on Google street view to get a flavor of the area roads (where I can). But perhaps most important to me, I get traffic count information from the traffic count maps available on most state DOT websites. If a road doesn't have a decent shoulder, I look for roads with less than 1000 vehicles a day, and preferably less than 500.
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Old 03-14-13, 07:11 PM   #6
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I rough out a route on Google maps, usually using the 'bicyle' routing and maybe looking at some street level photos. When satisfied, I copy the map(manually)to www. for transfer as a .gpx track file to my Garmin eTrex. The track is supplemented with a state map that I occasionally consult. Works well for me. 'Couse state/county maps will work fine also with no need for a gps. Pesonal preference.

I don't bother with traffic count info. Too tedious. County, state, US highways away from metropolitin areas are nearly always ok for cycling. They can be checked out with Google satellite/street views.
The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me
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Old 03-15-13, 04:35 AM   #7
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I use Google maps for a rough idea.

And then I use good paper maps for a more detailed, and more accurate picture of where I want to go.
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Old 03-15-13, 04:52 AM   #8
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I used paper maps for years, Google maps and Google Earth are great resources, along with local special interest maps put out by local Chambers' of Commerce, hotels or attractions. I have started using a Nexus 7 tablet, I can download a route map to that and save it to review later if needed. Still like paper though.

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Old 03-15-13, 08:15 PM   #9
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Along with the above, BLM Back Country Byways, state scenic drive routes, and surprisingly (or not so surprisingly) area motorcycle clubs such as Oregon Motorcyclist have lists of interesting low traffic roads.
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