Route creation software

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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meic
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Re: Route creation software

Postby meic » 30 Oct 2018, 12:36pm

I remember while riding along that I could see my Cycletravel .gpx track taking a bit of a detour on a minor road compared to a straight line of the slightly larger low traffic road that I was cycling on. I wondered why it had done that, as I cycled the minor route I could see that I also had a bonus climb thrown in, in comparison to the slightly larger road. I certainly didnt agree with its choice when I was in a position to see what the two different options offered. It wasnt enough of an imposition to make me want to stop and check everything out in detail rather than just happily riding along. Which is how I ride for 99% of my tours unconcerned by any need to spend time navigating.
When things get bad and they occasionally do, you then resort to having to navigate an alternative on the hoof, normally blasting along a not so minor road to a distant point on your track, hopefully past the quagmires.
Yma o Hyd

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meic
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Re: Route creation software

Postby meic » 30 Oct 2018, 12:41pm

You should have used a map Meic! :wink:
Calais to Basel is only 453 miles using motorways according to iMaps!
Arguably a pleasant straight rural route might be a tad shorter too.

I always cycle both ways and I have a friend in Belgium who I like to visit.
It is only 500 miles from Caen to Hendaye but I managed to get 1500 out of it by seeing if I could get to the Mediterranean on the way home.

I go on my tours to avoid hills, I have enough of them at home.
Yma o Hyd

francovendee
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Re: Route creation software

Postby francovendee » 30 Oct 2018, 12:48pm

Again, it's not set in stone.
Modify as you ride by looking and seeing and reading a map. I don't leave home without one, it may be electronic, but it's a map.
I never let my device navigate for me .............. because I'll end up with who knows what from an imperfect algorithm.


I do let Osmand navigate for me but not slavishly, what's the point in having it otherwise?
What I do is follow it, but if I don't like the route It's/I've created, choose another way and the App will reroute you without necessarily taking you along the original track. It also gives turn by turn directions.
I don't believe any Garmin will do this? I've only tried an etrex 20 so may be wrong.

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Re: Route creation software

Postby Psamathe » 30 Oct 2018, 12:56pm

francovendee wrote:Again, it's not set in stone.
Modify as you ride by looking and seeing and reading a map. I don't leave home without one, it may be electronic, but it's a map.
I never let my device navigate for me .............. because I'll end up with who knows what from an imperfect algorithm.


I do let Osmand navigate for me but not slavishly, what's the point in having it otherwise?
What I do is follow it, but if I don't like the route It's/I've created, choose another way and the App will reroute you without necessarily taking you along the original track. It also gives turn by turn directions.
I don't believe any Garmin will do this? I've only tried an etrex 20 so may be wrong.

I think that is an important aspect that some of those who don't use/don't like route creation software don't seem to be appreciating - using a route created by a route creation service doe snot oblige you to stick to it 100% come what may.

There are loads of factors route creation software wont have knowledge of just as there are factors route creation software does have knowledge of that "human with map" wont. Thus it can do a better and worse job (at the same time). Solution is to take the best of both worlds (which is what I think most people (or cyclists) using such things will be doing).

Ian

Richard Fairhurst
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Re: Route creation software

Postby Richard Fairhurst » 30 Oct 2018, 2:20pm

Absolutely, yes - that's why cycle.travel's routes are draggable. The draggability makes massive demands on the hardware and preparation time, but I think it's worth it.

meic wrote:I remember while riding along that I could see my Cycletravel .gpx track taking a bit of a detour on a minor road compared to a straight line of the slightly larger low traffic road that I was cycling on. I wondered why it had done that, as I cycled the minor route I could see that I also had a bonus climb thrown in, in comparison to the slightly larger road.


I do try to minimise off-then-back-on manoeuvres like that, but haven't quite nailed it yet. France is particularly difficult because there's no national open traffic data available, so cycle.travel has to go on the road classification set by OSM users, and that doesn't always equate to traffic levels. It looks possible that the French government may be releasing traffic data next year, which will be a huge help.

(Currently cycle.travel uses real traffic data in Britain, the US, and Spain. Most other countries don't make it available. It does exist for the Netherlands, but the cycleway network there is so extensive that you almost never need to resort to the main roads anyway...)

The French quagmire issue is interesting - basically the French OSM community seems to be a bit more optimistic about track quality than other countries, so something that's marked as a "grade 2 track" might be unrideable in France but would probably be ok in the UK. A couple of months ago I changed cycle.travel's weightings to take account of this, so it's now a bit more wary of tracks in France. We went to stay with a friend in the Auvergne last year and it was routing me along a bumpy track instead of some really lovely nearby roads, which was a good impetus to get it fixed!
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meic
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Re: Route creation software

Postby meic » 30 Oct 2018, 2:30pm

I cant help but be aware* that Richard will be reading this thread, where we (myself included) are knocking the resource which he has provided off his own back for us to use OR NOT for absolutely nothing in return.
So if somebody doesnt like it or want to use it, that is absolutely fine. No skin off anybody else's nose.

The routing isnt perfect, it has flaws, it doesnt suit everybody, it isnt fine tuned to my personal profile etc etc. However it is still very good and far better than some stuff that I have paid for (Anquet, Garmin). When I was first pointed to it I was expecting some sort of junk like my Garmin spews out but I was pleasantly surprised, on many of my local routes it offered the same ones that I had gravitated to with experience. Sometimes the differences made a worse route, sometimes they made me change my route permanently!

So just like when I come back from Easter tours fuming about some minor Somme-mudtrenches replication it gave me, I have to make clear how grateful I am for this resource and how much I value it, even if I do tend to have the odd gripe occasionally. I would hate anybody to mistake imperfection for a waste of effort.
Richard probably deserves a Cycling UK knighthood.

*I wrote this before seeing his latest post but it makes it even more so.
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cotswolds
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Re: Route creation software

Postby cotswolds » 30 Oct 2018, 3:26pm

meic wrote:That doesnt work with the Etrex range as they can only store .gpx files on the SD card and not read them from it.
May be different for the Montana.


You can get an Android app that will work with an OTG cable to put usable tracks on to an etrex. I generally create my gpx files at home but have done this with OSMAND on the road because of a change of plan.

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meic
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Re: Route creation software

Postby meic » 30 Oct 2018, 3:44pm

To do this you would need?
Osmand paid version compared to the free version?
An OTG enabled smartphone, something that needs checking with my cheap Alcatel
and a microB to miniB OTG cable.https://www.amazon.co.uk/LINDY-0-5m-USB ... B00DCZWIY6

and probably more smartphone familiarity and patience than I possess. :lol:
Yma o Hyd

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Mick F
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Re: Route creation software

Postby Mick F » 30 Oct 2018, 3:52pm

I'm not complaining about Richard's site, not at all, it's just that I much prefer BikeHikeUk.
This is why:

If Richard's CycleTravel site had OS mapping on it, it would be much better, but the one thing I like about BikeHike is that you don't have to put a start and end point in and you can click away as much as you want creating all manner of routes. Just click the next point, and pick another ad infinitum.

If you go to the map tab on CycleTravel, you can click anywhere as a start (just like BikeHike), but only one click after that. That's it. Two clicks per route. You can drag the end point further up the road, but if you are creating a route that turns back on itself, it re-routes to form a short cut or re-routes some other way. There seems to be no way to stop it changing what it's already done so far, so you can add more further on.

So, if CycleTravel had OS mapping, and you could easily create any route you wanted, I'd be with CycleTravel.
Mick F. Cornwall

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mjr
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Re: Route creation software

Postby mjr » 30 Oct 2018, 4:00pm

Mick F wrote:It's damned obvious if you look at the OS map and know that the straight route is pre-turnpike and therefore narrow and steep. Turnpikes were built to keep the gradients as gentle as possible and they were built wide. The old routes were Packhorse Routes and if they exist now, they are rat-runs.

................ and look at the chevrons! :lol:

Pah, it's only one chevron per road. It's still not bad enough to ride so much further on a busy A (hole) road to climb the same amount anyway. It'd be better if the small roads had lower speed limits, but that's more of a council problem than a routing or mapping one.

Other than that, the difference is just as obvious from the cycle.travel rendering of openstreetmap, which adds contours.

meic wrote:Richard probably deserves a Cycling UK knighthood.

Maybe once there's something in place so all his hard work won't vanish when he leaves us.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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Re: Route creation software

Postby Psamathe » 30 Oct 2018, 4:10pm

Mick F wrote:...
So, if CycleTravel had OS mapping, and you could easily create any route you wanted, I'd be with CycleTravel.

I used to use an app that had either OS mapping you pay for or OpenStreetMap which was free. I purchased the OS mapping and used it for a bit then had a play and ended-up writing-off what I'd paid for the OS mapping and using OpenStreetMap mapping the whole time as I found it far superior.

Not saying "I'm right and OpenStreetMap is better" just that is has advantages that might be important for some and not so important for others. OS mapping has the benefit of "familiarity" as people (particularly people of my age) are familiar with the colours and style. But when it came to real use I found OpenStreetMap superior.

Ian

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Mick F
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Re: Route creation software

Postby Mick F » 30 Oct 2018, 4:14pm

One chevron per road?
You don't have to believe in chevrons, but they tell a tale.
Going up that road to the junction where you may go straight on up the chevron, it's so plainly obvious that the main turnpike route is easy and the one chevron route it telling lies and should be a two chevron road, especially near the top. I've ridden up there on occasion just for the hell of it.

I've been riding a bike and reading OS maps for longer than I care to remember, and chevrons, or lack of them, tell lies.
Some are there as per the steepness, and some are there as an average, and some are omitted entirely.

Look at this road I climbed yesterday up to St Breward parish church.
I'd come in from the west on the B road and turned off down the chevron to cross the bridge, then up the chevron to turn sharp right to the church at Churchtown St Breward.
Screen Shot 2018-10-30 at 16.10.39.png
Those chevrons told lies.
The up one was much much steeper than the down one, and it got steeper as I climbed, with the sharp right turning even steeper.
You can see it by the contours, but at least I knew I was going to have a tough time of it.
Mick F. Cornwall

Richard Fairhurst
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Re: Route creation software

Postby Richard Fairhurst » 30 Oct 2018, 5:02pm

Mick F wrote:If you go to the map tab on CycleTravel, you can click anywhere as a start (just like BikeHike), but only one click after that. That's it. Two clicks per route.


You can do that on cycle.travel if you want. Once you've added your first two clicks, you'll see at the top left there's an option to "Click map to add more points". Choose that, and then you can happily click away a la BikeHike. It's not the default because people kept accidentally adding points they didn't mean to (especially on mobile) but it's there as an option. If you register an account, you can set this as an always-on option.

But ultimately I think andrew_s put it well upthread - cycle.travel is a planner (for when you want a route suggested) whereas BikeHike is a plotter (when you already know where you want to go). I wouldn't want to dissuade anyone from using a site they already know and like. Apart from Google Maps maybe. ;)

mjr wrote:Maybe once there's something in place so all his hard work won't vanish when he leaves us.


Hopefully that won't be for a long while yet! But I should perhaps wonder about some sort of run-over-by-a-bus protection - maybe automatically unlocking the routing engine/profile git repository if I don't respond to pings after n weeks, or something.
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cotswolds
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Re: Route creation software

Postby cotswolds » 30 Oct 2018, 5:15pm

meic wrote:To do this you would need?
Osmand paid version compared to the free version?
An OTG enabled smartphone, something that needs checking with my cheap Alcatel
and a microB to miniB OTG cable.https://www.amazon.co.uk/LINDY-0-5m-USB ... B00DCZWIY6

and probably more smartphone familiarity and patience than I possess. :lol:

You obviously need an OTG enabled phone - my mid-price 5 year old one does it, I thought most of them did now.

The cable you suggested would do, but I use somethink like this https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bodhi2000-Micro-Female-Adapter-Android/dp/B0725L1XG5/ref=sr_1_4?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1540917752&sr=1-4&keywords=otg+cable which is cheaper and gives me the same USB socket as on a laptop so I can plug in other things (such as a memory stick) if I want to. I just plug in the garmin lead I use with my laptop.

You need the app "GPS transfer" https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.michalbures.garmin.transfer&hl=en_GB which I think costs less than £2. (Because I have it installed, I can't see the price.)

Don't think it requires the paid version of OSMAND. You create the track, save it somewhere, then start GPS transfer, press "choose save folder", find your file and press Connect.

Only ever had reason to do it a few times but it worked without problems. Check the app supports your specific garmin because they vary quite a lot (I think there's a free app to check this before you buy).

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Re: Route creation software

Postby Mick F » 30 Oct 2018, 5:18pm

Richard Fairhurst wrote:
Mick F wrote:If you go to the map tab on CycleTravel, you can click anywhere as a start (just like BikeHike), but only one click after that. That's it. Two clicks per route.


You can do that on cycle.travel if you want. Once you've added your first two clicks, you'll see at the top left there's an option to "Click map to add more points". Choose that, and then you can happily click away a la BikeHike. It's not the default because people kept accidentally adding points they didn't mean to (especially on mobile) but it's there as an option. If you register an account, you can set this as an always-on option.
Thanks!
Didn't see that. :oops:

Would still like OS maps though.
Mick F. Cornwall