Author Topic: The navigational skills of the modern youth  (Read 1307 times)

The navigational skills of the modern youth
« on: June 22, 2019, 06:20:45 pm »
If you want to to somewhere you aren't sure of where to go, ask Google.

In this case, it was to meet the club ride at the Wyche Inn, Malvern. The navigational technique was to put the destination into Google and follow the blue line.

He turned up at the pub absolutely knackered, having been directed up Old Wyche Road (apparently the 2nd steepest residential road in the UK), on 42x28.
When he recovered, we interrogated him, since the road (like Fford Penlech, Harlech) is one way downhill. Having looked at his phone, the instructions said "push for 200m".
What I want to know is whether that was the steepness, or the because of the 1 way  ;)

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: The navigational skills of the modern youth
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2019, 12:39:30 am »

Google maps directions have got me almost shot in the past...

That said, when you arrive at the wrong side of a security checkpoint at an airport, and the Dutch security guard wants to know why, "fucking Google maps" seems to be understood, and they open the barrier and let you through...

Many years ago I was navigating from London to Canterbury, using a map, and NCN1 signs... I got a police escort from the M20... Which wasn't marked on my map... Neither was the M2... Or M25...

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: The navigational skills of the modern youth
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2019, 01:22:54 pm »
Do NOT follow the NCN signs out of Ardrossan or through Ayr, unless you want to be on the news for mowing down herds of peds with ice creams, it goes directly down the prom. :demon:
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Re: The navigational skills of the modern youth
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2019, 02:10:01 am »
To be fair, it's not just Google maps. I recently tried route planning on Viewranger on my phone, very quick, easy to use, great turn-by-turn cues, promt re-routing and...yes, technically this is path, if only I'd attached those handy hedge trimmers to my bike, and yes, I wouldn't expect you to know that there was a charity dog walk on Portobello prom as well as the usual hundreds of people, and yes, I suppose Musselborough race course is technically traffic free if you don't count the horses, and... FFS, how hard is it to develop something that actually just navigates you from A to B without f**king it up! Well, seemingly beyond the capability of any GPS device/software company on the entire planet.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: The navigational skills of the modern youth
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2019, 01:36:42 pm »
FFS, how hard is it to develop something that actually just navigates you from A to B without f**king it up! Well, seemingly beyond the capability of any GPS device/software company on the entire planet.

Exactly.  They control the hardware/software, these problems are down the the maps.  Crowdsourcing via Openstreetmap sacrifices consistency for detail.  Buying in a proprietary map from a mapping company sacrifices completeness and cost for a map that may not be that much more consistent.  Much like a sampling problem, there's no correct solution, only 'good enough'.

Google don't really care, of course, their product only has to be good enough to make people allow them to track their phone movements.  So they pull in OSM data and tweak around the edges.  The cleverness is mostly in how it evaluates driving routes based on live tracking data.

Potentially you could apply some similar cleverness to cycling movements.  The closest thing to that is the Strava route planning tool when 'use popularity' is enabled, which is certainly useful but biased towards the sort of cyclists who log rides on Strava.  Crucially, it doesn't discriminate between fast road cyclists, MTBers and traffic-averse pootlers - so while it'll avoid a path that's so overgrown you'd need a cutlass to hack through it, it will take you on busy roads favoured by lycra-clad commuters, with the occasional handy shortcut through a muddy field.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Waking up now, put the kettle on!
Re: The navigational skills of the modern youth
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2019, 01:59:12 pm »
Let's face it, the "if only I'd brought the hedge trimmers" problem applies to quite a few roads too.
I do not ride a great big Mercian, gangster tanwalls, fixed cog in the back.

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: The navigational skills of the modern youth
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2019, 12:24:23 pm »
FFS, how hard is it to develop something that actually just navigates you from A to B without f**king it up! Well, seemingly beyond the capability of any GPS device/software company on the entire planet.

Exactly.  They control the hardware/software, these problems are down the the maps. 

No - the problem is cyclists.
Cyclists' routing requirements and parameters are highly variable, far more so than cars, delivery vehicles or even motor cycles.  A cyclist's route preferences might change on the hoof, simply due to the wind direction, tiredness, availability of the next food source.

Quote
Potentially you could apply some similar cleverness to cycling movements.  The closest thing to that is the Strava route planning tool when 'use popularity' is enabled, which is certainly useful but biased towards the sort of cyclists who log rides on Strava.  Crucially, it doesn't discriminate between fast road cyclists, MTBers and traffic-averse pootlers - so while it'll avoid a path that's so overgrown you'd need a cutlass to hack through it, it will take you on busy roads favoured by lycra-clad commuters, with the occasional handy shortcut through a muddy field.
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: The navigational skills of the modern youth
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2019, 12:42:31 pm »
Komoot is usually better but not foolproof. It tried to take me down footpaths even while explicitly on the 'road cycling' setting on the way to Alfold Crossways.

You learn to get an instinct for which directions are suspicious and eyeball a route from adjacent rows after a few stupid incidents.
YACF touring/audax bargain basement:
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Re: The navigational skills of the modern youth
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2019, 01:22:52 pm »
No - the problem is cyclists.
Cyclists' routing requirements and parameters are highly variable, far more so than cars, delivery vehicles or even motor cycles.  A cyclist's route preferences might change on the hoof, simply due to the wind direction, tiredness, availability of the next food source.

I use OSM-based maps.me when touring. It does appear to include a "hillyness factor" in the cycle routing - it will take you round a pointless climb if the extra distance is under some multiple of the climbing saved. A bit like the "wiggliness factor" in car routing that will keep you on a motorway even when that's not the shortest route.

It's a shame that the "avoid unmade roads" option can't be applied to cycle routing. For eg, in Lithuania the gravel roads are on a substrate of sand, cycleable on the correct kind of bike but definitely require walking on 25mm tyres. In Spain, with a clay soil, whether an unmade road is passable depends on the weather.

It does do some bizarre things, like if the only route is a major road it will take you off and on again at every intersection, or perpendicular through a car park and back, just to reduce the main road content.
Quote from: tiermat
that's not science, it's semantics.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: The navigational skills of the modern youth
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2019, 11:37:16 am »
Potentially you could apply some similar cleverness to cycling movements.  The closest thing to that is the Strava route planning tool when 'use popularity' is enabled, which is certainly useful but biased towards the sort of cyclists who log rides on Strava.  Crucially, it doesn't discriminate between fast road cyclists, MTBers and traffic-averse pootlers - so while it'll avoid a path that's so overgrown you'd need a cutlass to hack through it, it will take you on busy roads favoured by lycra-clad commuters, with the occasional handy shortcut through a muddy field.

There was one rider on the TCR a few years back who used the strava heat map to plan their route. As they found themselves on the motorway, they suddenly realised the big heat splotch on the map. That was the Giro, that took this bit as a closed road...

My main issue with the strava route planner is how inconsistent it is about ferries, which round here, are way too common...

Komoot is usually better but not foolproof. It tried to take me down footpaths even while explicitly on the 'road cycling' setting on the way to Alfold Crossways.

You learn to get an instinct for which directions are suspicious and eyeball a route from adjacent rows after a few stupid incidents.

Komoot is on the list of route planners I've filed feature requests to for an "avoid stairs" option when route planning. I've had Komoot, Strava, & RidewithGPS, all try to send me up or down stairs...

Wish they also had an "avoid Pavé" feature too, preferably with a good 100km buffer zone...

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Cudzoziemiec

  • Waking up now, put the kettle on!
Re: The navigational skills of the modern youth
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2019, 11:49:06 am »
Yeahwell, Sustrans maps and NCN signs will send you up and down stairs. And you're not lost.
I do not ride a great big Mercian, gangster tanwalls, fixed cog in the back.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: The navigational skills of the modern youth
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2019, 11:57:38 am »
Yeahwell, Sustrans maps and NCN signs will send you up and down stairs. And you're not lost.

This was in Luxembourg, Belgium, France, and the Netherlands. So I can't moan at sustrans for it :(

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: The navigational skills of the modern youth
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2019, 12:26:25 pm »
Komoot is on the list of route planners I've filed feature requests to for an "avoid stairs" option when route planning. I've had Komoot, Strava, & RidewithGPS, all try to send me up or down stairs...

Wish they also had an "avoid Pavé" feature too, preferably with a good 100km buffer zone...

J

If there was a feature, then surely one would be able to plan and follow a route with maximum cobbled goodness!
YACF touring/audax bargain basement:
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quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: The navigational skills of the modern youth
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2019, 12:38:37 pm »
If there was a feature, then surely one would be able to plan and follow a route with maximum cobbled goodness!

I've done Paris Roubaix once. And say, based on experience.

NEVER

AGAIN!

:p

I bloody hate Pavé!
J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: The navigational skills of the modern youth
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2019, 01:16:11 pm »
I had a really good time doing it this year, I hope to mislead and bully persuade a few buds to do it with me again in 2020.

There's also a London ride called the cobble monster which probably isn't quite as grave as the real deal but might be fun https://ridewithgps.com/routes/29713555
YACF touring/audax bargain basement:
https://bit.ly/2Xg8pRD