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Wanted: Global bike maps


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July 20, 2005

Wanted: Global bike maps

Stephen Baker

Here's a product we can create together (if it doesn't already exist): A cyclists' map of the United States (and, while we're at it, everywhere else.) Every biker knows the good cycling roads near home, but requires help and advice elsewhere. What if everyone fed a giant database with info on the roads they know--charming, passable, dangerous, etc. Then some enterprising cyclist geeks could attach this data to maps. In the end, bikers could punch in a starting point and a destination, and ask for a route, say, with maximum charm and nothing more than moderate hills.

Isn't this an open-source opportunity? Is anyone already doing it?

03:58 PM

society

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Check out Ride Oregon, a neat bike route wiki.

http://rideoregon.schtuff.com/

Posted by: Marshall Kirkpatrick at July 20, 2005 05:44 PM

good day for "creating" products we'd like...mine was that Amazon.com introduce a blogging service...but I'll take the bike map as well...

:)

Posted by: michael parekh at July 20, 2005 06:00 PM

I was amazed you didn't mention music blogs in your recent article and how they're changing that business as well. Here's one to check out (mine) but there are many more...

http://www.songsillinoismp3.blogspot.com

Posted by: craig at July 20, 2005 11:19 PM

Check out Google Earth Hacks -- as John Markoff pointed out in the Times late last week, an enterprising bike fan with the handle "Nagoyan" has hacked Google Earth to display the detailed stage routes. Download the stage, open with Google Earth, and you do your own satellite detail follow-along.

http://www.googleearthhacks.com/dlfile723/Tour-de-France-2005---Stage-19.htm

Posted by: David Churbuck at July 21, 2005 06:46 AM

The Gmap Pedometer is a great tool already being used by cyclists to share routes.

You simply record your ride and it tells you the distance. Then it gives you a permalink to share with friends.

URL - http://www.sueandpaul.com/gmapPedometer/

Posted by: Jonathan Maus at July 21, 2005 10:25 AM

Thanks for the suggestions. I've spent the last 15 minutes on gmap pedometer, and have mapped out a ride for Saturday. But much of the terrain I already know. What I'm looking for is a product like this that helps you find the good bikeable routes. Seems to me that this gmap pedometer is a good platform for the open-source product I'm thinking of.

Here's the ride I'm planning to take this weekend:

http://www.sueandpaul.com/gmapPedometer/?centerX=-74.542236328125?erY=40.56427001953125&zl=8&fl=m-e-s-186&polyline=ymjxFjb%7CcM%7E%7DDnjCl%60Bxd@ta@vr@l@lf@%60qDrqApa@p%7ECjiGdmCc%7B@%60e@%7D%7DCxnF%60aC%60qDaApFd%7CEv%7EG%7E%7EAjbGzbBc%5BnxA%60tTo%7ECrzIz%7CCjjNaf@blFjhGtpB%7CGcPloOt%7BL%7Bm@blItrGq_BhkHzjKl%7EG%7CfGfaGwfF

Posted by: steve baker at July 21, 2005 11:20 AM

A global bike map Wiki exactly like what you propose has been on my "to-do" list forever. ;-)

Posted by: Richard Masoner at July 21, 2005 02:08 PM

Usually a patchwork of municipal, county, state and regional transportation agencies have maps with bike usable roads.

http://www.state.nj.us/transportation/commuter/bike/bikemaps.shtm

http://www.azbikeped.org/maps.htm

Some guy did this on his own:

http://www.njbikemap.com/

Posted by: Larry at July 21, 2005 05:33 PM

Folks interested in this topic may want to check out my book, GPS Mapping - Make Your Own Maps (http://www.MakeYourOwnMaps.com). I'm an avid biker and did 99% of my field research on my bike, so I guess you could say that it's written from a biker's perspective.

Posted by: Rich Owings at July 22, 2005 08:12 PM

Steve,

That's a long ride...but an even longer URL! Next time I would recommend using TinyURL to shorten it (www.tinyurl.com).

Posted by: Jonathan Maus at July 26, 2005 11:52 AM

Right you are, Jonathan. I did use TinyURL and it chopped it right down to size. By the way, that route I mapped out was terrific, for anyone looking to bike in western N.J. Beautiful farm country, moderate hills, moderate traffic, and the weather was gorgeous. Of course, it's no secret to those of us who live around here that Western Jersey is good riding. The good thing about that route, though, is that it maps out the first 30 miles from Montclair along nice, uncongested roads, including lots of parks.

Posted by: steve baker at July 26, 2005 02:01 PM

i was just cruising through google earth thinking how great an overlay a cycle map would be..

i live in london uk and i'm thinking of this locale obviously, i've used the gmap pedometer a few times to trace my bike rides around this great capital:

http://tinyurl.com/72s3e

this one a western loop and

http://tinyurl.com/deaop

this one an eastern loop,

x

Posted by: longcat at January 3, 2006 10:26 PM

I have spent a certain amount of time running a few of our clubs more popular rides directly into Google Earth, but it sure looks like GMAP pedometer path is an easy solution. Someone just needs to establish a list of the tinyURLs along with additional markup about the rides into a searchable web accesible DB now, right?

this link is for http://bostonroadclub.com my clubs Tuesday Morning Hill Ride. Its short and brutal.

Posted by: Gregor Rohda at January 23, 2006 09:27 PM

You might want to check out my site, www.runningpaths.org. Although it was designed with running in mind, I'm sure it would work for biking too. (Let me know if there's ways I could make it more bike friendly!) Richard Masoner in the post above mentioned having a Wiki-style site. Well that's how I tried to make my site. For example there's no login. Anyone can create a path. Anyone can edit or comment on a path too. And anyone can roll-back to a prior version of a path. It's just starting out but I'm hoping its open nature will allow it to become a large database of useful paths. --rob

Posted by: Rob at February 5, 2006 07:44 PM

Thought I would chime in on my effort: Crankfire.com - We are using Google Maps to display our community based mountain biking GPS trail and waypoint data.

Furthermore, we are allowing users to interactively create GPS routes (similar to the Gmap Pedometer). The system will then generate a GPX file for download to use in their GPS unit.

I had a couple moments there where I thought I would port this for roadie use, but have not travelled down that path :)

Posted by: Nathan at March 21, 2006 02:36 PM

You may want to check the following link for other biking maps. http://www.gmapsdirectory.com/index.php?c=815

Posted by: Mashups at December 11, 2006 05:16 PM

here's another cycle-mapping site: http://www.veloroutes.org

eventually i'll have a feature to show all routes at once... that'd be sweet.

Posted by: m at February 20, 2007 07:02 PM

Another good site example for Google Maps (to calculate how far) is GPSies.com.

Posted by: Justin Mair at March 17, 2007 05:26 AM


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