Favorite mapping website / software for cue sheet creation
Tagged: navigation website software
I’m trying to plan a few rides on my computer, print a que sheet, and ride.
I’m sure a few of you guys use some sort of web-based mapping that helps you plan rides which you’ve never done. What ones do you like? Do they have a mobile app to go with it?
I’ve only really dug in to mapmyride. It seems like the mapping part is pretty cool, but it seems pretty hard to make manual edits / comments on the que sheet. The mobile app is cool, but it only really lets you view a map, not view a que sheet. The printing options all force you to include one or more maps (and you have to pay to print).
Tried mapmyride, gpsies.com, and RideWithGPS. Whatever Dan said +1.
I am still curious what people are using on their mobile devices to follow pre-planned routes. Eg, I map the ride on my computer, then on my phone I load it up and I can locate myself on the route. Seems like most apps try to record new routes, not tell you where you are on a pre-made route. I have an iPhone so I can’t use the built in maps app for this. The closest I’ve been able to do is exporting rides as kml in MapMyRide and importing them into KML viewer. Ideally though I’d like to pre-load the map tile images so that I can see where I am even without service.
I’d like to followup on abracadabra’s post.
I want (not need, just want) some sort of Cloud/Web2.0/mobile site that plans bike friendly routes in locations I have no familiarity with. Next I want to move that route to a mobile device (pref. Droid phone). Finally, when I get on the bike I want to wear a bluetooth headset and get turn-by-turn nav from the GPS-phone-bluetooth-headset magic. IN a most perfect world, if I deviate from the route I’d like it to recalculate a new bike-friendly intercept.
I’d appreciate any suggestions.
Can’t you just use Google Maps on Android? I think it does all that stuff.
You draw the map on your PC using Google Maps (the bike mode does a good job), then save it to My Maps and load the map on your cellphone. I found that if I drew the map in car navigation mode I could then use the built-in phone navigation to get back on route by selecting a waypoint from the saved map.
It will also cache maps so you don’t need service to see where you are. Don’t know if navigation will still work without it, though.
This is actually the first time I’ve felt the Droid platform was superior to the iPhone. Can’t you just ask Siri?
I don’t want to rely on my phone. it’s nice and all, but smartphones suck batteries.
If I’m doing a 60 mile ride and it dies part way through, I want a printed set of directions hanging out to tell me where to go. I usually keep my phone off while I’m on the bike though.
Also, it’s kind of hard to change the directions they give you if you need to add additional notes about dangerous roads, places to stop, where to find a hidden trailhead or shortcut.
You can definitely use google maps on android for navigation. I did it when I went to portland, and it was pretty awesome when was just trying to get somewhere in an unfamiliar city. However, I wouldn’t use just that to plan a long ride or multi-day ride.
So far it does look like RideWithGPS is the best I’ve seen for making good cue sheets, mapmyride is second (if you pay to print). You can always export the map data in GPX to your phone or GPS to do the navigation from that if you’re in to that sort of thing. I’m not a big fan of having my $500 telephone device hanging on to my handlebars with a plastic mount.
I do this by hand. The only problem I’ve noticed with a cue sheet is not all roads out in the middle of nowhere are marked. I usually draw a little map of the areas I don’t know. Just a heads up that only a cue sheet can be problematic.
Edit (I don’t have a smart phone, guess most people can just check that if you have a quesiton)
I agree about smart phones and batteries; also, the directional guidance just isn’t as good. I was getting lost all the time on randonnées even with a cue sheet and my smart phone. But with my Garmin I just ride along and it tells me where to turn etc. Lets me enjoy the scenery. But it is expensive.
I still like http://www.bikely.com.
I use it to “pre-map” routes and assess elevation profiles. I requires registration, but is a free application.
Overall I prefer Ride With GPS to MapMyRide but both work well with my Garmin
Anybody have opinions about the less-expensive Garmin models (like the Edge 200)? I’m pondering buying a second bike and going on more/longer non-commuting adventures this summer, and if that happens I might want/need one of those eventually because I’m freakishly good at getting lost… hmmmm
If getting lost is your concern the 800 is the only one with maps and directions, the 200 and 500 don’t do that (you can follow a pre-generated course but there’s no actual maps). Although, if you have a smartphone you can always get directions from there.
I have an 800 and its cool but honestly it’s overkill for me, I don’t use the maps that much, which is the main advantage of the 800 vs the 500.
I also don’t really use external sensors (HR, power, cadence*) which is the big feature the 500 has over the 200 (plus baro altimeter – although Garmin Connect can correct elevation after the fact based on maps)… so if I were starting from scratch the 200 looks pretty appealing. But that being said I haven’t actually used a 200 – I can vouch for the 800 being nice and I’ve also played with a 500 some.
(* OK, I do use the speed/cadence sensor but I just started using it after sitting on my shelf for a year – it’s nice but not essential for me and the GPS is accurate enough on its own – the cateye and GPS were always within 2% of each other)
Hey thanks, that’s helpful. Damn, I hadn’t looked carefully enough and didn’t realize the 800 was the only one with maps and directions. Those things are crazy expensive. But I guess even the pre-generated course thing on the 200 would be sort of useful.
I can just use my phone, but that’s severely limited by how fast map applications kill the battery. Hmmm. Maybe what I really need is just some kind of portable iPhone battery life extender thingy instead of an extra device. I guess I’ve seen such things, although I have no idea whether any of them are any good.
If you’re mainly concerned about getting lost, a regular Garmin eTrex is like $200 or less. Not bike specific, but unless you’re training for competition it probably doesn’t matter. You can get a bike mount for it, and you can use it walking, hiking, driving, travelling. And the battery life is allegedly excellent. That 800 is a serious investment for a single purpose device, I couldn’t justify that.
My take on the Garmin Edge 500: A 500’s course feature can definitely be helpful for navigation. I wouldn’t rely on it exclusively, although it can very well supplement a cue sheet or paper map if you are looking to only follow a pre-defined course – one that you create ahead of time. A route properly created on BikeRouteToaster.com can give you turn directions at intersections and can tell you when you are on or off course. It has elevation data, so you can even see what the upcoming terrain looks like. Pretty nice feature, that last one. And it makes for a nice bike computer that you can easily move from bike to bike. Of course, it doesn’t have any real maps so you cannot use it to help you navigate a new route on the fly when you are actually riding. For that you need an 800, an eTrex, an Oregon, etc. all of which are bigger, clumsier, and usually more expensive (although some of the eTrex models can be had for a reasonable price).
On phone battery extenders — I used that when I was riding back here from western Ohio and had only my smartphone and Google maps to guide me. I’d bought the battery extender from a drugstore in Ohio. It used 4 AAs. It went through those AAs like mad. Even the lithium ones didn’t last long. But it did keep my smartphone running, and I could get more wherever I stopped for supplies.
Another option is to power your smartphone from a hub generator. There are various kinds of adapters (these seem to be popular in Europe). I’ve used that, too, with success.
Of course, you probably have realized by now that you want to turn off GPS as much as possible by exiting the map app.
I have one of these and it works really well for recharging phone/GPS/etc batteries, you can get multiple full charges out of it. The only thing I’d say is the cables that come with it are absolute crap, especially the micro-usb end doesn’t fit well so it doesn’t work reliably. But it just has a USB port so use your own cable and you’ll be fine.
You can use the edge 800 for hiking, driving, etc… it is overpriced but you’re paying for the small size. BTW another option is to buy one of the running watches and mount it to your handlebar.
Edge 800 does not last long. eTrex is listed for 25 hours (more like 20 hours on ususla set of batteries) and edge 800 is listed as 15 hours of typical use (from what I know navigator mode is not a typical use). Salty can provide more info but I would guess that in navigator mode it would last around 5-7 hours.
Wow, so much good information. You guys are awesome. Thanks! I’m going to have to look at all this and do some more research. I know the price of the 800 is out of the question for me right now, but the eTrex ones might be good options. I hadn’t looked into those at all.
And I’ll have to think about the smartphone power options too. That would be handy to have anyway. I do make a point of trying to close apps, etc. to make it last as long as possible, but it still has a way of starting to die right around the time I realize I’m lost, just to spite me. I get totally sufficient battery life doing anything else on my iPhone, but leaving any navigation app on for any extended period just kills it so fast.
If you go with eTrex consider model 20. It’s more expensive but it allows to use other maps. IMHO it’s important feature.
I don’t think navigation has much of an effect on battery life, aside from a few seconds to compute the route it’s not really CPU intensive to navigate. I’d imagine the GPS receiver and the screen (especially if you keep the backlight on) consume the bulk of the power regardless of what you’re doing… regardless, if you assume 2/3 reduction battery life in one case it should be similar for the other device… but in any case, I don’t think it’s an issue, they should both last “all day” as opposed to a phone which probably won’t without external help. The longest I’ve used the 800 was on the MS150 which was ~9 hours overall, I don’t remember how much battery was left but it was a non-issue.
These are all great comments and observations. But, I don’t know that they all get to Ben’s original question of programs/equipment useful in the PLANNING of routes and preparation of cue sheets. My cell phone GPS certainly won’t do that, although it will help me navigate while I am on the road. With that “at home, planning” question in mind, how do Ride with GPS, Etrex, etc., stack up?
I use Google Maps for planning a route I will follow with GPS, too. The procedure I follow is to get directions in bike mode, modifying it as I like, then save to My Maps and get the link to the saved map. Paste that into http://www.takitwithme.com/ and then download to Garmin. Works like a charm.
To my knowledge this board has never seen a thread that has stayed on topic
I’m lame and even when I plan a route at home (usually using google maps) I just rely on a printed copy instead of the overpriced GPS on my handlebars… sounds like I should check out that site.
In terms of preparing cue sheets both MapMyRide and Ride With GPS work about equally well. If you get out into some of the more rural areas keep in minds that actual road names (if prersent) may be different then what appears in the software. For any critical turns I will try to also have a landmark (if possible) indicated. My experience has been that in bright sunlight phones, gps units can be difficult to see so a printed cue sheet can come in handy. I would recommend using them to see what your personal preference is. I used Bikely years ago and don’t remember much about it. Ride with GPS has street view available where as MapMyRide doesn’t.
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