Google Maps

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
Woodtourer
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Google Maps

Postby Woodtourer » 8 Feb 2019, 12:35am

Today I was doing a bit of route planning for part of our upcoming tour. I pick a few cities in Czech and put them in Google map. Stated there was not cycle route available. Plugged the same cities into Cycle Travel and bingo! A route was created.
So what gives?

MrsHJ
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Re: Google Maps

Postby MrsHJ » 8 Feb 2019, 6:42am

I’ve had that in Google maps a few times too. I wonder if it’s a risk thing? Colleague at work suggested I look at komoot too (always interested to see different approaches). Agreed with other comments- my preferred option is cycle.travel.
Last edited by MrsHJ on 8 Feb 2019, 11:50am, edited 1 time in total.

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mjr
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Re: Google Maps

Postby mjr » 8 Feb 2019, 10:06am

Cycle routing was added by Google because they feel they ought to. It gets them lots of undue credit from people who don't realise how awful it usually is and encourages lots of cyclists to leave Google maps and all its tracking on their phones.

Cycle.travel is run by someone who seems to enjoy cycling.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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Richard Fairhurst
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Re: Google Maps

Postby Richard Fairhurst » 8 Feb 2019, 12:55pm

(Though my enjoyment was tempered a little in the rain this morning...!)

Google only has bike routing for selected countries. You could argue that's a lucky escape for the rest of the world. (To be fair, Google engineers live in Californian cities, and their urban Californian routing is pretty good - for a while it would find a better route up the insane hills in Berkeley than cycle.travel would, though I've fixed that now. But even in backwoods California their routing has serious issues.)
cycle.travel - maps, journey-planner, route guides and city guides

Woodtourer
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Re: Google Maps

Postby Woodtourer » 8 Feb 2019, 1:06pm

Thanks! And let's hear another round of Cheers for Cycle Travel!!!

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Sweep
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Re: Google Maps

Postby Sweep » 8 Feb 2019, 2:33pm

Woodtourer wrote:Thanks! And let's hear another round of Cheers for Cycle Travel!!!


+ several

I only ever use google maps for a fast rough and ready indication of cycling time.

I wouldn't dream of using it to for an actual route I planned to pedal.
Sweep

simonhill
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Re: Google Maps

Postby simonhill » 8 Feb 2019, 3:43pm

I use Google maps because of all the other stuff it offers, eg location of bike shops, accommodation, tourist sites, etc.

Currently cycling in Burma and G maps found me guest houses in out of the way places. Albeit at least one was illegal and an amusing visit from the police and immigration followed.

I usually work out my routes from a combination of where I want to go; what I want to see; guide books; paper maps ( big spread out things) and; G maps.

I've never bothered letting an app select my route, maybe I'll give it a try sometime. Is it worldwide and does it have all Google's information?

One interesting thing about G maps is that they adhere to the rule that foreign maps of S Korea (in S K) aren't allowed to show distance - a throwback to the war. However, the excellent S Korean Naver maps, do show distances and have great cycling info.

londoncommuter0000
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Re: Google Maps

Postby londoncommuter0000 » 8 Feb 2019, 3:55pm

Woodtourer wrote:Today I was doing a bit of route planning for part of our upcoming tour. I pick a few cities in Czech and put them in Google map. Stated there was not cycle route available. Plugged the same cities into Cycle Travel and bingo! A route was created.
So what gives?


We used google maps only twice. The first time was when we were navigating from Hoek van Holland to I think Breskens, and we arrived at a station where we could not get the bikes inside. I could not believe that such as situation would happen in the Netherlands, but it did. We used the little intercom to call the station manager, who said that no, at that station, we could not get bikes through. We offered to remove all panniers. Nope. So we used google maps to navigate to a nearby station, and it got us there just in time.

The second time was when we arrived in Belfast off the ferry from Stranraer. We could not find our youth hostel with the MotionX app, and my Garmin GPS was - as always - utter [insert fæcal synonym of your choice]. So we used google maps to get us there.

Both times, it took us on roads, but that was what we needed.
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mjr
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Re: Google Maps

Postby mjr » 8 Feb 2019, 4:27pm

simonhill wrote:I use Google maps because of all the other stuff it offers, eg location of bike shops, accommodation, tourist sites, etc. [...] I've never bothered letting an app select my route, maybe I'll give it a try sometime. Is it worldwide and does it have all Google's information?

Other sites based on OSM have things like bike shops, accommodation, tourist sites and so on. They probably don't have absolutely all the info that's on Google because Google are non-sharing lawyer-happy proprietarians who I strongly suspect are taking from OSM.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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Ivor Tingting
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Re: Google Maps

Postby Ivor Tingting » 8 Feb 2019, 5:05pm

simonhill wrote:I use Google maps because of all the other stuff it offers, eg location of bike shops, accommodation, tourist sites, etc.

Currently cycling in Burma and G maps found me guest houses in out of the way places. Albeit at least one was illegal and an amusing visit from the police and immigration followed.

I usually work out my routes from a combination of where I want to go; what I want to see; guide books; paper maps ( big spread out things) and; G maps.

I've never bothered letting an app select my route, maybe I'll give it a try sometime. Is it worldwide and does it have all Google's information?

One interesting thing about G maps is that they adhere to the rule that foreign maps of S Korea (in S K) aren't allowed to show distance - a throwback to the war. However, the excellent S Korean Naver maps, do show distances and have great cycling info.


Same here. Google maps has it's plusses and negatives, but on the whole it is a big positive for me. I like you use other mapping such as OSM, Bikemap.net, IGN mapping and OS mapping in the UK. In Taiwan Google maps was pretty much spot on the whole time. My only gripe with GM is that they do not show topographical information such as contours thus hills and mountains that you typically get on local topographical mapping such as OS or IGN maps. Bikemap.net uses local topographical maps where possible which I have found extremely useful. It also shows routes that other cyclists have also ridden and uploaded. When I was in Taiwan large areas that had become developed, huge towns and cities and industrial areas were totally absent from GM which was disappointing. I know they build quickly in China and Taiwan but not that quickly! On the whole I find GM a valuable resource. I don't hold all these conspiracy theories or vitriol against Google. On the whole Google has massively helped in my travelling life although I still love paper maps and use them where I can without carrying too many. I can spend hours and hours gazing at them. As I say I use other digital mapping as well. I just use what works for me. If I find a better or alternative mapping source then I'll use that as part of my over all route planning. Keep an open mind I say. When using GM I have it set to hiking/walking or just Explore. I find Google Maps with Satellite or Street View very helpful particular in checking out places I need to find in cities or towns such as Star Bucks or 7-11 or your accommodation at the end of a long day in the saddle. If the Google car has been there it is plus plus. Takes a bit of the unknown pioneering spirit of previous centuries away but some times it is just better. I think it is almost a golden age for mapping at the moment. Digital mapping has really opened up travel for the better. The only problem is borders ..........
"Zat is ze reel prowoking qwestion Mr Paxman." - Peer Steinbruck, German Finance Minister 31/03/2009.

thirdcrank
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Re: Google Maps

Postby thirdcrank » 8 Feb 2019, 5:23pm

It seems to me this is more about cycle routes than how systems display them. One rider's ideal route is another's nightmare. Some will do anything to avoid any traffic, others want decent direct roads and so on.

What I really like about google mapping is that combined with streetview, you can get a good idea of what somewhere looks like, especially navigation landmarks like pubs and other buildings. When used carefully, eg noting how recent is the image capture, you can go somewhere unfamiliar and it's as though you have been before.

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mjr
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Re: Google Maps

Postby mjr » 8 Feb 2019, 7:29pm

Ivor Tingting wrote:I don't hold all these conspiracy theories or vitriol against Google.

It ain't conspiracy theories. Google is pretty open about how it makes its money and about asking permission to track you in all sorts of insiduous ways - of course, if you refuse, you can't use it, but they're more honest than some companies in asking permission to exploit you. Vitriol? Possibly, although not literally as I'm throwing no acid.

I find Google Maps with Satellite or Street View very helpful particular in checking out places I need to find in cities or towns such as Star Bucks or 7-11 or your accommodation at the end of a long day in the saddle. If the Google car has been there it is plus plus.

And that's the problem and the reason why I don't find Street View much help outside of road sections in/near busy towns: it's overwhelmingly car-based (yes, there's the guys - and so far I've only seen guys - with the ball on a pole out of a backpack, but they're rare) and even worse, the cars visit the biggest roads more often. It's quite common for their street views of cycle-friendly roads to be a decade old. I looked at the Vennbahn, an international cycle route where I will be riding later this year - and as expected, most of their images are from 2009, still showing the rails in place. Yesterday, I had reason to look at the Leireken, which I rode last year, and it was similar, 2009.

Google Maps is a motorists-first tool, with cycling a second-class citizen, and we should minimise use for that reason if nothing else. Let's use cycling-first tools instead!
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

Tyre Lady
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Re: Google Maps

Postby Tyre Lady » 8 Feb 2019, 11:21pm

As an aside - Is there a way to extract the steps in cycle.travel into an Excel file?
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simonhill
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Re: Google Maps

Postby simonhill » 9 Feb 2019, 12:51am

Ivor,
You can get relief and contours in G maps, but not for all countries. Certainly used it in Japan and France. Select terrain mode. Zoom out for topographical view, zoom in for contours, either 10 or 20m interval depending on country. I also noticed it gave me a profile when I plotted a cycle route in France.

I'm not necessarily a lover of Google, but have a Google tablet that has revolutionised my travel. Free G maps and other apps (banking, weather, news, etc) are great, but the tracking is annoying, but doesn't worry me. I can remember a few years ago when the mere mention of Microsoft on this forum was as if you had raised the devil's spawn. Before that Shimano got the devil's tag.

If what's there is good enough, then I don't tend to look elsewhere. Compared to my old days of navigating with a Nelles map, I'm in heaven. Maybe I'll look for heaven plus later.

Ivor Tingting
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Re: Google Maps

Postby Ivor Tingting » 9 Feb 2019, 3:30am

mjr wrote:
Ivor Tingting wrote:I don't hold all these conspiracy theories or vitriol against Google.

It ain't conspiracy theories. Google is pretty open about how it makes its money and about asking permission to track you in all sorts of insiduous ways - of course, if you refuse, you can't use it, but they're more honest than some companies in asking permission to exploit you. Vitriol? Possibly, although not literally as I'm throwing no acid.

I find Google Maps with Satellite or Street View very helpful particular in checking out places I need to find in cities or towns such as Star Bucks or 7-11 or your accommodation at the end of a long day in the saddle. If the Google car has been there it is plus plus.

And that's the problem and the reason why I don't find Street View much help outside of road sections in/near busy towns: it's overwhelmingly car-based (yes, there's the guys - and so far I've only seen guys - with the ball on a pole out of a backpack, but they're rare) and even worse, the cars visit the biggest roads more often. It's quite common for their street views of cycle-friendly roads to be a decade old. I looked at the Vennbahn, an international cycle route where I will be riding later this year - and as expected, most of their images are from 2009, still showing the rails in place. Yesterday, I had reason to look at the Leireken, which I rode last year, and it was similar, 2009.

Google Maps is a motorists-first tool, with cycling a second-class citizen, and we should minimise use for that reason if nothing else. Let's use cycling-first tools instead!


This is what I mean. Not interested in your grudge, crusade/vendetta, almost pathological hatred toward motorists, with your big chip on your shoulder for anything that is not dedicated toward cycling. I'll continue with what works for me. As I say I am willing to try new formats what ever they are if they are beneficial to me. Right now I'm fine.
"Zat is ze reel prowoking qwestion Mr Paxman." - Peer Steinbruck, German Finance Minister 31/03/2009.