Cycle Travel question!

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Angstrom
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Re: Cycle Travel question!

Postby Angstrom » 23 May 2019, 5:31pm

Richard Fairhurst wrote:Watch this space. :)

I sure will... :D

Psamathe
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Re: Cycle Travel question!

Postby Psamathe » 23 May 2019, 5:53pm

Richard Fairhurst wrote:Yes and no! I've gone some way towards that with the interface at https://cycle.travel/map/mobile which is a little more app-like.

The big challenge I've found is that JavaScript map interaction tends to be very pernickety on mobile - the library used by cycle.travel (and everyone else), Leaflet, was originally developed for desktop use and is a lot less smooth on mobile than a mobile-first library. There's all sorts of really exasperating frustrations in real-world use: for example, I find that using the web interface on a cross-city ride, every bump in the road makes the iPhone think that I've shaken it so it blocks the screen with an "Undo typing" message! Each of these is ultimately fixable, but there's so many that to get a decent mobile experience I'd really need to rewrite the interface from first principles... at which point I might as well build a proper native app.

It's also harder to do offline mapping with web technologies than it is with a native app, and I think that's important for medium/long-distance rides - I'd like people to be able to download a whole country onto their phone.

The iPhone app is mostly there now - there's a lot of little details that need tidying up but the core of the app works well. Once I've got that released I'll port it to Android, which should be much quicker given that much of it can go straight across (the vector map styling, the turn detection algorithms, that sort of thing). Watch this space. :)

I would assume a native app must be more power/battery efficient than a web/javascript app (but that is a guess - I can't cite any tests on it). And battery life can be an important aspect to using a phone on a bike (even if just to get routes and load them onto a GPS).

Ian

Angstrom
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Re: Cycle Travel question!

Postby Angstrom » 24 May 2019, 4:21pm

I would assume a native app must be more power/battery efficient than a web/javascript app (but that is a guess - I can't cite any tests on it). And battery life can be an important aspect to using a phone on a bike (even if just to get routes and load them onto a GPS).

Addressing the question of battery consumption is a must as soon as we depend on it for navigation. Those include:

1) minimize consumption by properly setting up devices and apps to only consume what is necessary
2) having a second basic and light phone if being able to always place/receive a call is important (sh.. happens)
3) have spare energy (how much really depends on each person's situation/configuration)
4) know how/when one can recharge next, with some room for error/problem

Using a smartphone as an "always-on" tool akin to a GPS device to display real time on-screen mapping and give turn-by-turn instructions will require tethering the phone to an extra battery or to a generator on the bike for charging, in my experience. Dynamo hubs are becoming more and more common but a powerbank + solar charger is an option.

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mjr
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Re: Cycle Travel question!

Postby mjr » 25 May 2019, 10:27am

Angstrom wrote:Using a smartphone as an "always-on" tool akin to a GPS device to display real time on-screen mapping and give turn-by-turn instructions will require tethering the phone to an extra battery or to a generator on the bike for charging, in my experience.

Not my experience. Turning the screen on only when it's wanted (near turns or only when stopped or only when prompted) is sufficient to let the battery last all day.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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Vorpal
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Re: Cycle Travel question!

Postby Vorpal » 27 May 2019, 12:25pm

mjr wrote:
Angstrom wrote:Using a smartphone as an "always-on" tool akin to a GPS device to display real time on-screen mapping and give turn-by-turn instructions will require tethering the phone to an extra battery or to a generator on the bike for charging, in my experience.

Not my experience. Turning the screen on only when it's wanted (near turns or only when stopped or only when prompted) is sufficient to let the battery last all day.

That depends on the phone, the battery, and what else might be going on in the background.
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mjr
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Re: Cycle Travel question!

Postby mjr » 27 May 2019, 2:06pm

Vorpal wrote:
mjr wrote:Not my experience. Turning the screen on only when it's wanted (near turns or only when stopped or only when prompted) is sufficient to let the battery last all day.

That depends on the phone, the battery, and what else might be going on in the background.

Yes, it's important to trim down background chattering apps but few modern Android phones seem to have batteries as small as my little 1300mAh any more and GPS chipsets are still fairly lean.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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Angstrom
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Re: Cycle Travel question!

Postby Angstrom » 27 May 2019, 4:03pm

mjr wrote:
Angstrom wrote:Using a smartphone as an "always-on" tool akin to a GPS device to display real time on-screen mapping and give turn-by-turn instructions will require tethering the phone to an extra battery or to a generator on the bike for charging, in my experience.

Not my experience. Turning the screen on only when it's wanted (near turns or only when stopped or only when prompted) is sufficient to let the battery last all day.


Dedicated devices (such as the popular Garmins) are used with the display always turned on. If I use my smartphone in a similar way, there is no way I'll have any juice left on my device at the end of the day. That's what I meant.

I don't have an app that turns the screen on just approaching turns. If there is, I'm interested to know about it. Either I have the display fully on all the time or I have it time limited and I need to press a button to turn the screen back on after it went off.

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mjr
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Re: Cycle Travel question!

Postby mjr » 27 May 2019, 5:31pm

Angstrom wrote:I don't have an app that turns the screen on just approaching turns. If there is, I'm interested to know about it.

OsmAnd. It's a feature that I would like to see in more apps.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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Woodtourer
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Re: Cycle Travel question!

Postby Woodtourer » 27 May 2019, 6:33pm

Are you saying that Osmand has this function? We use Osmand but how do you " turn" this on?

LittleGreyCat
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Re: Cycle Travel question!

Postby LittleGreyCat » 2 Jun 2019, 12:27pm

Enhancement request: (apologies if this has already been covered but this thread is LONG!)

There is a toggle switch between "paved only" and "paths and tracks" which is good.

For planning around Suffolk, where there are a mix of regional and national routes (which can be confusing because regional routes share a number with national routes in completely different parts of the country) the shortest/fastest routes may not always be via national or regional routes.

It would be nice if there was an option to plan using ONLY regional and national routes.
Not a biggie, but probably useful if people are "bagging" cycling routes. :D

On a related note, and not in any way blaming the mapping software because it relies on the information provided, but regional route 41 going from Bawdsey to Orford shows two routes, one via the Butley Ferry.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Local_Ferries_in_Suffolk#Butley_Ferry
This ferry is only open from 11 to 4 on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays in the summer season.
It would be nice if the software knew this and offered the choice, in the way that my car SatNav does - a prompt "this route includes a ferry" or similar. Cherry on the top would be adding "only open at weekends, summer, 11 to 4" to aid decision making for the hard of thinking such as myself. :mrgreen:

However I don't know how this information could be incorporated in the mapping database.

Edit: I've just noticed that a ferry counts as a "track" for planning purposes. I can't decide if this is accurate or misleading for the local ferries. It does mean that you have to get off your bike so it may be a fair assessment.

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RickH
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Re: Cycle Travel question!

Postby RickH » 2 Jun 2019, 3:11pm

LittleGreyCat wrote:It would be nice if the software knew this and offered the choice, in the way that my car SatNav does - a prompt "this route includes a ferry" or similar. Cherry on the top would be adding "only open at weekends, summer, 11 to 4" to aid decision making for the hard of thinking such as myself. :mrgreen:

However I don't know how this information could be incorporated in the mapping database.

Edit: I've just noticed that a ferry counts as a "track" for planning purposes. I can't decide if this is accurate or misleading for the local ferries. It does mean that you have to get off your bike so it may be a fair assessment.

Cycle travel does say in the instructions that you are going on a ferry - a prompt, at least, to look for timings.
cycle.travel ferry indication.JPG
cycle.travel ferry indication.JPG (16.61 KiB) Viewed 188 times

LittleGreyCat
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Re: Cycle Travel question!

Postby LittleGreyCat » 2 Jun 2019, 4:39pm

RickH wrote:
LittleGreyCat wrote:It would be nice if the software knew this and offered the choice, in the way that my car SatNav does - a prompt "this route includes a ferry" or similar. Cherry on the top would be adding "only open at weekends, summer, 11 to 4" to aid decision making for the hard of thinking such as myself. :mrgreen:

However I don't know how this information could be incorporated in the mapping database.

Edit: I've just noticed that a ferry counts as a "track" for planning purposes. I can't decide if this is accurate or misleading for the local ferries. It does mean that you have to get off your bike so it may be a fair assessment.

Cycle travel does say in the instructions that you are going on a ferry - a prompt, at least, to look for timings.
cycle.travel ferry indication.JPG


Well, yes, I knew that the route was via a ferry as soon as I looked at the map.

I was thinking about an "are you sure you want to to that?" style of prompt.

Being used to car satellite navigation I tend to expect notifications such as "this route involves a ferry" or "this route involves a toll road" so that you are aware before you finalise the route.
At the moment it seems that you have to look at the detail of the route to pick up that there is a ferry involved.

Which can be vital, because in the example I gave you can end up with a route which is only possible at weekends in the summer.
At least if you are warned up front by a prompt at an early stage in the planning you can check when the ferry runs.

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RickH
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Re: Cycle Travel question!

Postby RickH » 2 Jun 2019, 5:55pm

LittleGreyCat wrote:Well, yes, I knew that the route was via a ferry as soon as I looked at the map.

I was thinking about an "are you sure you want to to that?" style of prompt.

Being used to car satellite navigation I tend to expect notifications such as "this route involves a ferry" or "this route involves a toll road" so that you are aware before you finalise the route.
At the moment it seems that you have to look at the detail of the route to pick up that there is a ferry involved.

Which can be vital, because in the example I gave you can end up with a route which is only possible at weekends in the summer.
At least if you are warned up front by a prompt at an early stage in the planning you can check when the ferry runs.

I was too quick scrolling down to find the ferry section & I missed that the ferry is marked in the route summary too, both with a little icon & "includes ferry" next to the mileage.
cycle.travel ferry indication 2.JPG
cycle.travel ferry indication 2.JPG (16.44 KiB) Viewed 160 times

Richard Fairhurst
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Re: Cycle Travel question!

Postby Richard Fairhurst » 2 Jun 2019, 8:03pm

RickH has said it before I got a chance to! There's an "includes ferry" bit there.

One thing that's worth noting - when someone has entered the ferry's website address into OpenStreetMap, that shows up as a link in cycle.travel. So, for example, if you plan a route from Oban to Fort William, cycle.travel will route you via the Corran and Camusnagaul ferries. Clicking either of these on the map (or in the turn-by-turn directions) will show a "Website" link. You can then click that to go to the ferry's own website, which will hopefully have details on times etc.

I'd like to make it a bit more aware of ferry opening times/frequencies, but these are very rarely recorded in OSM sadly.
cycle.travel - maps, journey-planner, route guides and city guides

Richard Fairhurst
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Re: Cycle Travel question!

Postby Richard Fairhurst » 3 Jun 2019, 12:12pm

Couple of updates today:

  • In countries that use the Cyrillic and Greek alphabet, placenames are now displayed with the Romanised name as well as the local alphabet. It'll take a while to filter through the map refresh but here's an example: https://cycle.travel/map?lat=42.3791&lo ... 28&zoom=11
  • Unpaved roads are now displayed on the map with a dashed edge ("casing") in Europe, as they have been on the North American map for a while. Example: https://cycle.travel/map?lat=55.4682&lon=23.519&zoom=11
  • Airports and beaches are shown on the map, and mountain passes are named.
  • The usual little tweaks to the turn-by-turn instructions and the routing!

Plus I fixed an annoying bug that was logging users out of the site in some circumstances (usually if you had multiple windows open).
cycle.travel - maps, journey-planner, route guides and city guides