Author Topic: New route-planner!  (Read 23396 times)

Richard Fairhurst

  • on the trail of the little blue stickers
New route-planner!
« on: November 27, 2013, 06:33:21 pm »
Hello YACFers,

Having been working on this for the last n months I thought you lovely people might like to be the first to see it. :)

http://cycle.travel/ is an 'everyday cycling' website, but with a strong focus towards maps. Click on 'map' (oddly enough) in the top bar and you get to the map and route-planner.

The map itself is intended to highlight important stuff for cyclists, so: minor roads don't disappear into the background (yes, Google, I mean you), NCN routes are shown (but not to the exclusion of all else), there's subtle contours and hillshading, and subject to the limitations of the source data (OSM, of course!) bridleways/tracks are rendered differently according to surface type. Also, caf├ęs and pubs. ;D

The route-planner is a proper draggable one like wot Google does, but more bike-friendly. It likes minor roads and traffic-free paths, (again) takes account of surfaces, and tries to avoid hills if it can. It's pretty fast, so will find you a LEJOG route in a second or two - but that said, anything that long will probably slow down the browser, so better to keep it to a few hundred miles at most.

If you create an account, you can save routes, export them as PDF or GPX, etc. And there's a few other things (like elevation and nearby hotels).

Hope you like it - I've been working on this for ages and am slowly letting it out there to a wider world!
cycle.travel - maps and route-planner

Oscar's dad

  • Cheers!
Re: New route-planner!
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2013, 11:24:03 am »
That's quite good.  I can make it suggest routes, but I can't amend it's suggestions.  What am I doing wrong?

Richard Fairhurst

  • on the trail of the little blue stickers
Re: New route-planner!
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2013, 11:35:37 am »
Possibly you're not but I am! In theory you should just be able to drag the routes as you would on Google. But it's possible that there's a browser issue I've missed (that's why I'm letting it out quietly ;) ). What browser/version are you using?
cycle.travel - maps and route-planner

Oaky

  • ACME Fire Safety Officer
  • Audax Club Mid-Essex
    • MEMWNS Map
Re: New route-planner!
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2013, 11:40:46 am »
Just dragging the route as per google maps works for me (Firefox 25.0.1 on Win7).

Not sure if the URLs are sharable, but this one was made by specifying the start and end then just dragging it in a few places: http://cycle.travel/map/journey/107
You are in a maze of twisty flat droves, all alike.

85.4 miles from Marsh Gibbon

Audax Club Mid-Essex Fire Safety Officer
http://acme.bike

Oscar's dad

  • Cheers!
Re: New route-planner!
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2013, 11:41:20 am »
Possibly you're not but I am! In theory you should just be able to drag the routes as you would on Google. But it's possible that there's a browser issue I've missed (that's why I'm letting it out quietly ;) ). What browser/version are you using?

Ignore me, I'm being thick, I can make it work on Chrome and IE - doh!

I run a community cycling group here in Essex - link on my sig line.  Would you like me to give it a mention?

Richard Fairhurst

  • on the trail of the little blue stickers
Re: New route-planner!
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2013, 11:44:09 am »
*breathes sigh of relief at not having to spend the rest of the day debugging JavaScript in IE*

That'd be great - please do!
cycle.travel - maps and route-planner

Re: New route-planner!
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2013, 11:51:16 am »
"Total length: 101mi (11hr 20m). Includes 3.3mi on A roads; 70m pushing; 1000m unsurfaced (estimate)."

Love it.

That's Stratford upon Avon - Measham - Alcester. Midlands Mesh was 140 km. I got it down to 136 km using the smooth roads.

How do I adjust my road type preferences?

tiermat

  • According to Jane, I'm a Unisex SpaceAdmin
Re: New route-planner!
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2013, 11:53:35 am »
Looks good, and quick too!

Shall play a bit more.
I feel like Captain Kirk, on a brand new planet every day, a little like King Kong on top of the Empire State

Richard Fairhurst

  • on the trail of the little blue stickers
Re: New route-planner!
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2013, 11:57:36 am »
How do I adjust my road type preferences?

You can't, I'm afraid - that's the trade-off for it being quick; it precalculates vast numbers of journeys (takes about 3 hours for the whole of the UK) and keeps them all in the server's memory. So each new set of preferences would be another 3 hours and another stack of RAM in the server! But the idea of having draggable routes is that if you don't like something you see, you can just fiddle around until it's more to your liking. I kind of like fiddling with routes anyway...
cycle.travel - maps and route-planner

Re: New route-planner!
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2013, 12:02:34 pm »
How does the circular route thing work ?
If I put same location in From and To boxes it says it can't compute a route.

Re: New route-planner!
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2013, 12:18:55 pm »
It looks as if you put in your start (which is also the finish) and the furthesrt point, click the circular route button, and it will try to find a return route that differs from the out route. It worked for me, but used the same run into and out-of town.  :thumbsup:

BTW. I often use these planners to compare distances taking different routes - how much futher is it if I take #these minor roads, compared to #these minor roads?
Dragging the route works well, but it's then damned difficult to 'undrag'. Would it be really difficult to do an 'undo changes' button?
If it ain't broke, fix it 'til it is...

Re: New route-planner!
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2013, 12:28:09 pm »
It looks as if you put in your start (which is also the finish) and the furthesrt point, click the circular route button, and it will try to find a return route that differs from the out route. It worked for me, but used the same run into and out-of town.  :thumbsup:

BTW. I often use these planners to compare distances taking different routes - how much futher is it if I take #these minor roads, compared to #these minor roads?
Dragging the route works well, but it's then damned difficult to 'undrag'. Would it be really difficult to do an 'undo changes' button?

Clicking on the points created by dragging removes them.

Re: New route-planner!
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2013, 01:32:45 pm »
Once you create a circular route the drag facility disappears. I was trying to map an audax route of mine, but the lack of multiple destinations and/or a draggable circular route stymied that.

Richard Fairhurst

  • on the trail of the little blue stickers
Re: New route-planner!
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2013, 02:05:04 pm »
Circular routes are a bit of a hack but one I couldn't resist!

The core routing engine behind it all (the wondrous OSRM) doesn't really do circular routes... but it does do alternative routes (like when you use Google and it offers you a couple of options). So the circular route is really "normal route out, alternative route back".

Unfortunately that means it's not draggable, because adding a via point would add it to both the outbound and return journeys. If I figure out a way to do it (or OSRM gets support for it) then I'll add that. Until then, you can create long multi-point routes by just clicking on the map one point at a time, and it'll add each one to the start or end.

Wobbly John - I do have an idea on the to-do list for making it easier to find out "how much further is it if I go this way"... watch this space. :)

Edit: Ok, have just done the "idea". As you drag the route, you should now find that the "Total length" on the left updates automatically (though not the A-road/unsurfaced count), so you can see how much further out of the way you're going.
cycle.travel - maps and route-planner

Re: New route-planner!
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2013, 02:21:16 pm »
That works until I get to Barnstaple where the separate cycle routes don't connect to the roads alongside (OSM not you, I suspect). A facility to toggle follow-road would overcome that. I use Bikehike and find that feature useful for pedestrianised areas, cycleroutes not recognised on the map and even ferries that take bikes not cars.

Re: New route-planner!
« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2013, 03:19:49 pm »
Although I am logged in, it tells me I need to log in to save a route (IE10).  :-\
If it ain't broke, fix it 'til it is...

Richard Fairhurst

  • on the trail of the little blue stickers
Re: New route-planner!
« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2013, 05:42:52 pm »
*yells at IE for not the first time*

(Will look - thanks!)
cycle.travel - maps and route-planner

Re: New route-planner!
« Reply #17 on: November 30, 2013, 09:42:52 pm »
It picks good routes. For my normal Gloucester to Portsmouth route, I only needed one extra point (Tockenham), to stop it bashing straight through the middle of Swindon on cycle tracks.

For circular routes, I find it irritating that an extra point may get added to the start of the route, rather than always to the end - you have to create two points at the next to last point, and drag the second to the original start.

Re: New route-planner!
« Reply #18 on: November 30, 2013, 10:09:46 pm »
Well done.  I like the idea of the circular mapping; it would be great if it were draggable, and have via points - as discussed.   :)

I was impressed with the mapping method (on a simple route between) when I dragged out the following detour, that I quite often use (avoiding the A420), but which would normally have to be put in manually ('don't follow road') if trying to generate a route.




Though on a local circular route, it did this (which I would normally correct)...




Road prefs would be great.  The problem with using tracks is that some are Ok to cycle, but others aren't (one route had me cycling across Duxford Ford through Thames by-water).  So perhaps a 'prefer road', but allow tracks to be used when dragging...
Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.  EOW.

Nelson Longflap

  • Riding a bike is meant to be easy ...
Re: New route-planner!
« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2013, 10:50:24 pm »
Even on a small netbook I can follow my route at large scale very conveniently by bringing up the route profile, then tapping the profile causes the map to re-centre at the corresponding point making it easy to step through a large scale view of the route step by step. What a cool feature - thanks very much.
The worst thing you can do for your health is NOT ride a bike

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: New route-planner!
« Reply #20 on: December 01, 2013, 12:50:18 pm »
That works until I get to Barnstaple where the separate cycle routes don't connect to the roads alongside (OSM not you, I suspect). A facility to toggle follow-road would overcome that.

Editing the map would overcome that.
        ;)

though actually, if the server is storing loads of route segments, how does it handle an updating map?
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

Re: New route-planner!
« Reply #21 on: December 01, 2013, 01:02:48 pm »
Superb site and functionality.

Congratulations - the hard work has been worth it!

Re: New route-planner!
« Reply #22 on: December 01, 2013, 03:52:16 pm »


+



=


Re: New route-planner!
« Reply #23 on: December 01, 2013, 04:33:07 pm »
That works until I get to Barnstaple where the separate cycle routes don't connect to the roads alongside (OSM not you, I suspect). A facility to toggle follow-road would overcome that.

Editing the map would overcome that.


(Getting a little off topic) Could get messy in that a cycleroute feeds into pavement cyclepaths that don't connect to the roads they are nominally part of.

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: New route-planner!
« Reply #24 on: December 01, 2013, 08:18:06 pm »
How do you get distances in kilometres instead of miles?