Author Topic: The Googlemaps for Audax thread  (Read 11292 times)

Manotea

  • Where there is doubt...
The Googlemaps for Audax thread
« on: April 19, 2011, 12:05:51 pm »
There is no doubt (...) that Googlemaps is a key mapping tool for Audax and is increasingly being adopted as a standard for developing routes, measuring distances between control points, etc.  Yet I have shyed away from using it because (a) I have PC based tools (Garmin Mapsource/Metroguide & MS Autooute which I know well. It would be extremely useful to have sample workflows with worked examples on how to use Googlemaps for common audax tasks. For example, the best way to go about:

1) generating a new route from scratch
2) setting controls and measuring shortest distance
3) setting other way points (for 'follow road' waypoints on the GPS)
3) export the route as a GPX route or track
4) importing a gpx route (preserving contols and waypoints) waypoints and gpx tracks

Re: The Googlemaps for Audax thread
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2011, 12:12:07 pm »
This could be interesting - I'm by no means an expert, I could learn a lot.

I do like using bikehike.co.uk. They sometimes run out of tiles in heavy usage periods, but you can run google maps/OSMCycle/sat imagery alongside OS mapping - I'm used to mapping out routes on OS, so this is v handy.
I like maps me

αdαmsκι

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Re: The Googlemaps for Audax thread
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2011, 12:12:47 pm »
3) export the route as a GPX route or track

I use this tool.
What on earth am I doing here on this beautiful day?! This is the only life I've got!!

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Re: The Googlemaps for Audax thread
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2011, 12:18:04 pm »

border-rider

Re: The Googlemaps for Audax thread
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2011, 12:19:06 pm »
I do like using bikehike.co.uk. They sometimes run out of tiles in heavy usage periods, but you can run google maps/OSMCycle/sat imagery alongside OS mapping - I'm used to mapping out routes on OS, so this is v handy.

+1

I've just done routes for the NARW camping weekend, and the ability to switch on-the-fly to OSMCycle or walking routes, or to leave road-routing altogether and then rejoin, it is just excellent.  Google mapping alone struggles with things like cycle paths and non-motor-vehicle bridges and struggles even more if you try to combine them with roads-for-cars.

Of all the online mapping tools I find bikehike the most intuitive.  

Re: The Googlemaps for Audax thread
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2011, 12:22:51 pm »
Plus to can spit out gpx or a load of other formats I've not experimented with as easy as pie. Plus plus you can look at elevation on the fly too.
I like maps me

Re: The Googlemaps for Audax thread
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2011, 12:26:19 pm »
There is no doubt (...) that Googlemaps is a key mapping tool for Audax and is increasingly being adopted as a standard for developing routes, measuring distances between control points, etc.  

I don't like / use it either. Maybe one of the alleged increasing number of adopters will be along soon  :-\

vorsprung

  • Opposites Attract
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Re: The Googlemaps for Audax thread
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2011, 12:26:52 pm »
googlemap is good to get a "rule of thumb" distance from one place to another

It is utterly useless for plugging in a route that you already know, to make a gpx

bikehike is better at making gpx but lacks some vital things  like being able to cut and paste segments of a existing route

For control distances I use viamichelin

If googlemap had a "bike" mode might be a different story but it doesn't
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AndyH

Re: The Googlemaps for Audax thread
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2011, 12:30:22 pm »
+ 1 more to bikehike.

Although I don't think googlemaps can be relied on to find shortest distances between controls, can it?

Re: The Googlemaps for Audax thread
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2011, 12:31:43 pm »
1) generating a new route from scratch
2) setting controls and measuring shortest distance

I'll take the first two of these. There are undoubtedly several ways to go about it, but I think this is the quickest:

a. Go to "Get Directions" and select walking directions (the pedestrian icon).
b. Select "Show Options" and select "km".
c. Select "Add Destination" until you have enough boxes for all the controls you want to use.
d. Type in the control locations into the boxes. Only rough locations are needed at this stage in form "Village, Nearby town", for example "Hauxton, Cambridge". (You should be able to figure out what names Google Maps is expecting to see here by looking at what appears in the auto-completion dropdown, but Google Maps may later ask you to disambiguate your locations if they are vague.)
e. If you get the controls in the wrong order or need to add extra controls, you can use the green circles to drag them into the right order.
f. Hit "Get Directions".
g. Drag the pushpins on the map to move the control locations into the right places.
h. The total distance is near the top of the left-hand panel, and the stage distances are given at the end of the directions for each stage.

For example, for Terry Dickerson's "End of Hibernation" 200, the rough controls are:

A. Hauxton, Cambridge
B. Silverley, Newmarket
C. Stradishall, Newmarket
D. Onehouse, Stowmarket
E. Finchingfield, Braintree
F. Great Hormead, Buntingford
G. Hauxton, Cambridge

(See here for the route after this step.)

Looking at the map, we need to adjust control C—it's not at Stradishall village, but a couple of km west along the A143—and control D—it's outside the village on Lower Road.

(See here for the route after this step.)

Shortest distance between controls: 197 km (how did Terry get away with this????).

Now to make the path follow the actual route (rather than the shortest route). You can drag the lines directly with the mouse, adding a new waypoint each time you do so. The first stage and last stage need some waypoints to avoid the big roads.

(See here for the final route.)

200 km exactly.

jogler

  • mojo operandi
Re: The Googlemaps for Audax thread
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2011, 12:34:38 pm »
What an interesting O.P..

I too don't use googlemaps..we mix like oil & water ::-)

I currently favour Bikely.However I may learn enough here to have another attempt at googlemaps

Manotea

  • Where there is doubt...
Re: The Googlemaps for Audax thread
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2011, 12:40:04 pm »
+ 1 more to bikehike.

Although I don't think googlemaps can be relied on to find shortest distances between controls, can it?

Regardless, it appears the methods approved for ECE - and by extention DIY and all events? - is ViaMichelin and Googlemaps. Personally I don't care what the standard is, I just want there to be 'A' (as in, '1',  'singular', lacking the words 'and' and 'or') standard. But this belongs in a different thread. If we must use Googlemaps then fine. The question is, what is the best way?

Martin

Re: The Googlemaps for Audax thread
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2011, 12:40:36 pm »
I hate google maps with a vengeance; if you trying altering a route by moving it more than a couple of times it disappears up its fundamental orifice and resembles a ball of wool after a couple of kittens have been at it;

having said that I believe it's now (set to walking) a reference method for checking AUK distances

Re: The Googlemaps for Audax thread
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2011, 12:44:08 pm »
having said that I believe it's now (set to walking) a reference method for checking AUK distances
That is certainly what the latest AUK minutes say -

"He also mentioned that he had found the various programs (ViaMichelin, AutoRoute and Google) returned the same distances on identical routes. In future, Google Maps will be the accepted standard,
though the software should not be granted unconditional trust"

Re: The Googlemaps for Audax thread
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2011, 12:53:28 pm »
Since I generally just want to get a rough idea of the distance, I find google excellent.  It's really easy to manipulate (just drag the route on the map to change it, or add another control/location.

If I did want something to spit out a GPX, I certainly wouldn't trust the "walking" option - for example, going down to Sowerby Bridge last year it suggested the best route would be the bridleway across Ilkley Moor, and if you tell it to go south out of Darlington, it routes you through Neasham Hall and onto the bridge over the Tees in the grounds.  I'm not sure this is even open to the public - it's almost certainly not passable on a bike.  The latter only adds half a click, but those half-clicks can add up!  Hence, I only use it where I already knw the roads I want to use.

Bikehike is unbeatable for the level of detail (OS maps) and the elevation information, but more of a clart-on to use, as you have to plot it step-by-step.  This is much preferable if I'm unfamiliar with the area, but it's harder to work out control-to-control distances.

There isn't one true answer (yet).

Bikely, by the, way, is shite.  AS is ViaMichelin.

Re: The Googlemaps for Audax thread
« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2011, 12:53:57 pm »
I hate google maps with a vengeance; if you trying altering a route by moving it more than a couple of times it disappears up its fundamental orifice and resembles a ball of wool after a couple of kittens have been at it

Bikehike has a 'drag edit mode' - but it is useless. I've often thought it would be improved if it could be written like the adbobe illustrator pen tool - drop some anchors onto the good bits of the route, then drag the bit that needs work without altering the rest.

Someone clever could even hook this up with a 'shortest distance' protocol, so all you would have to do it drop anchors onto your controls, then spin the handles until you get the route you want, which would be automatically valid.

But that is well beyond me, I can't do any of this php stuff.
I like maps me

Re: The Googlemaps for Audax thread
« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2011, 01:00:45 pm »
I use http://bikeroutetoaster.com
Meets my needs. You can display and route using Google or Openstreetmap.
Can't drag edit though.

Re: The Googlemaps for Audax thread
« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2011, 01:18:13 pm »
my process is:
1) Google for roughing out routes.
2) Via Michelin for checking stage distances.
3) Bikehike for detailed planning.
4) OS Getamap for really detailed (1:25000) planning.
5) Bikely for creating the gpx file (the only free tool that I find allows easy editing of point names).
6) Notepad to edit the gpx file (bikely outputs a track, I want a route).
7) GPSBabel to transfer routes to the Etrex.

Re: The Googlemaps for Audax thread
« Reply #18 on: April 19, 2011, 01:23:18 pm »
For 'sparse routes' (with one routepoint per routesheet instruction) for a Garmin etrex:-

Google for roughing out routes.
MS Autoroute for checking stage distances (same as my DIY organiser used to use)
Bikehike for detailed planning.
Bikely for creating the gpx file.

Now I've got an Edge 705 it is:-

Google for roughing out routes.
Google for checking stage distances.
Bikehike for detailed planning.
Bikehike for creating the gpxx file.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Manotea

  • Where there is doubt...
Re: The Googlemaps for Audax thread
« Reply #19 on: April 19, 2011, 01:33:01 pm »
my process is:
Google for roughing out routes.
Via Michelin for checking stage distances.
Bikehike for detailed planning.
OS Getamap for really detailed (1:25000) planning.
Bikely for creating the gpx file.

This summarises the problem nicely. How many tools is that? And don't forget manually rekeying the controls into the online DIY application form.

For the record, my process is: develop detail route in Mapsource/Metroguide/GB Topo (for route profile checking - I tend not to use it on the GPS, no specific reason), save as GDB, knock out the interim waypoints leaving just controls, save as GPX. Import GPX into Autoroute, use 'avoid area' to knock out motorways and trunk roads as required, generate directions with 'shortest distance' settings, generate route report as PDF, cut and paste route segment summary into word version of app form and forward by email. Not great but not too bad.

But this is the Googlemaps thread.


Alouicious

Re: The Googlemaps for Audax thread
« Reply #20 on: April 19, 2011, 01:35:11 pm »
DIY creation procedure.

Think of somewhere interesting to go. ( Sitting in armchair with road atlas and glass of Brandy )
Add another two places to make a diamond shaped route.
Check distances on ViaMichelin.
Choose other places if underdistance, - aim for +5% overdistance.

Fill in the online Application form.
Receive an OK.

Go to start point. Get Start PoP.
Punch in the location of the first stop into TomTom and go.

Manotea

  • Where there is doubt...
Re: The Googlemaps for Audax thread
« Reply #21 on: April 19, 2011, 01:42:08 pm »

Re: The Googlemaps for Audax thread
« Reply #22 on: April 19, 2011, 01:43:59 pm »
1) generating a new route from scratch
2) setting controls and measuring shortest distance

I'll take the first two of these. There are undoubtedly several ways to go about it, but I think this is the quickest:


Thanks Gareth

This makes sense, however all of the routing info is actually embedded in the URL, viz:

Quote
http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=Hauxton,+Cambridge&daddr=52.1783459,0.3309719+to:52.194537,0.415857+to:Silverley,+Newmarket+to:A143+to:Lower+Rd+to:Finchingfield,+Braintree+to:51.94831,0.39145+to:Great+Hormead,+Buntingford+to:52.006449,0.0543181+to:52.1389838,0.1062442+to:Hauxton,+Cambridge&geocode=FXq6GwMdFpUBACn9b_SDgXnYRzF8EWieMv3JsA%3BFaktHAMd2wwFAClnX9wdLmbYRzEgGri8qBwOEw%3BFelsHAMdcVgGACm5dXa8y0LYRzHg2Hq9qBwOEw%3BFVy3HAMdm4wHACn9jDcwmETYRzFyNPzn8tEyBg%3BFcibGwMdhuoHAA%3BFcRcHAMdxqgOAA%3BFdf1GAMdyN0GACmhTo4YIvTYRzExJhC9laoOjA%3BFRarGAMdGvkFACnfWww4sPTYRzGwL6y9qBwOEw%3BFbC0GAMdv5MAAClh5ChFmoHYRzHByQrWqRwOJg%3BFTGOGQMdLtQAACkf96H_iIDYRzHRyR64qBwOEw%3BFeeTGwMdBJ8BACndva8V0HvYRzFwr8G8qBwOEw%3BFXq6GwMdFpUBACn9b_SDgXnYRzF8EWieMv3JsA&hl=en&mra=dpe&mrsp=7&sz=11&via=1,2,7,9,10&dirflg=w&doflg=ptk&sll=51.968808,0.394821&sspn=0.244515,0.462799&ie=UTF8&ll=52.089633,0.450439&spn=0.975427,1.851196&z=9

How do you get this into a Googlemap so you can do something useful with it (publish, collaborate, save as a GPX, etc.)?

Read the instructions here:
GMapToGPX » Communications From Elsewhere


You basically bookmark a load of javascript that takes the googlemap route and exports it as a GPX file. When you're looking at a google maps page of a route you go to visit the bookmark of this magic javascript code and it does it's magic.

There's no way (that I know of at least) of uploading a GPX file into google maps in such a way that you can then drag/move it around or otherwise edit it.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Manotea

  • Where there is doubt...
Re: The Googlemaps for Audax thread
« Reply #23 on: April 19, 2011, 02:28:49 pm »
having said that I believe it's now (set to walking) a reference method for checking AUK distances
That is certainly what the latest AUK minutes say -

"He also mentioned that he had found the various programs (ViaMichelin, AutoRoute and Google) returned the same distances on identical routes. In future, Google Maps will be the accepted standard,
though the software should not be granted unconditional trust"

On a dissemination of information point, I wasn't aware of this (and please don't tell me I should RTFM), and Martin - who is directly affected by it - seems uncertain. I don't know when this decision was taken but ISTM given it directly impacts everybody involved in  planning and validating routes it should be announced with due priminence.

Alouicious

Re: The Googlemaps for Audax thread
« Reply #24 on: April 19, 2011, 02:39:40 pm »
Before I had the TomTom, I'd do exactly as I said earlier except I'd 'Drag and Drop' the Mapsource route until it was mimicked by the handset.

Not difficult.

Danial and now Rich have never refused any of my routes as I make them 5% overdistance by ViaMichelin shortest possible.