mapping

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
teamroche
Posts: 3
Joined: 9 Feb 2020, 6:16pm

mapping

Postby teamroche » 9 Feb 2020, 6:33pm

I'm planning my first long distance tour this summer from Austria back to the UK. I am looking for experienced advice about electronic navigation & the best route planning sites to use. Initially I was going to use cycle.travel to plan the overall route and download sequential days to my wahoo element, (which I find far better than my old garmin).Then I came across komoot and wondered if that was better. It provides downloaded maps and so routes can be set up/changed offline.....I think!!! The downside of putting routes on wahoo so far in advance is there is little contingency; I would not have maps for the surrounding area if things need to be changed - as I'm sure they will at some point. Are there others out there who use the wahoo element for touring & which route creation sites do you use, if any?

Woodtourer
Posts: 260
Joined: 23 Jan 2018, 1:51pm

Re: mapping

Postby Woodtourer » 9 Feb 2020, 8:54pm

We have used Cycle Travel 2x's for our European tours. Last year for 3 months. We would redo routes along the way and then download to our Garmin.
You can also print out the maps.
We will be returning to France for 6 weeks in May and Cycle Travel will be going along!

HobbesOnTour
Posts: 412
Joined: 20 Feb 2017, 5:12pm

Re: mapping

Postby HobbesOnTour » 9 Feb 2020, 9:21pm

First of all, a search of the forum will throw up a lot of information about the various options.

Second of all, test whatever option you plan on using as much as possible before you leave, in a variety of situations such as no internet connectivity.

Thirdly, you'll probably find that different options will work better in some situations.

As someone who got a Wahho Elemnt specifically for touring I can offer my opinion.

My preferred planner is cycle.travel. It has proven itself in Europe, the US and even in Mexico.
The only disadvantage is that it tends to avoid towns pulling me outside or it pulls me off main roads to cycle a secondary road for a km or two. Neither are significant. Sometimes finding an address can be difficult, but generally not in Europe. In cities it is fantastic!

RideWithGPS is a handy app. Online you can search other's routes & download them. It is also handy to make a copy of cycle.travel routes to have available off line - handy to remind yourself of elevation etc. if no data/internet connectivity. I only use the free version.

I have Komoot, mainly for it's ability to search addresses - online only. I do not trust it. Besides, it does not suit my touring style which is to have a route but wander off it at will. If I go too far off the original route it will not work offline. Trying to figure out what maps I have downloaded is impossible. You can also navigate from your phone in a worst case scenario.

Osmand has been my backup for years. Free or cheap, works offline for routing. Can be used offline to plan and save a gpx track, then with the correct cabling can connect to your unit for a 100% internet free navigator (so long as the maps are downloaded). It is slow *offline for long routes and does have a steep learning curve. Like Komoot, youbcan use it on your phone to navigate too.

Google maps is not for bike navigation, but saved maps are great for recording your own points of interest so they are always available.

All of these are improved by taking the time to get fully familiar with them.

Test the routes locally. It's one reason that I dislike Komoot - if it won't pick a decent route locally I have little faith it will do it far from home.

As with any route planner use your common sense.

Be aware that Komoot is a one off payment, RWGPS, Strava have subscriptions for all but the most basic functions so when someone says "I do x on RWGPS" remember they may have a subscription. Also, these things change. Something that you can do today may not be possible in 6 months.

By the way, I'd have no issue making one route on cycle.travel and loading it onto my Elemnt going from Austria to the UK. It's less complicated and my Elemnt has no issues with such long routes. If you do choose individual day files, make sure you understand the difference between having the files on your phone, in the app and on the unit.

Good luck!

Psamathe
Posts: 11209
Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:56pm

Re: mapping

Postby Psamathe » 9 Feb 2020, 9:24pm

I used one (Wahoo) for a European tour (or at least the 1st month). Never again https://psamathe.net/wahoo-elemnt-navigation-review/

Ian

Psamathe
Posts: 11209
Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:56pm

Re: mapping

Postby Psamathe » 9 Feb 2020, 9:32pm

For my tours in Europe I use cycle.travel (generally creating routes a few days ahead just in case). The year the Wahoo gave problems and I had to rush out and buy a Garmin I ended up using routes created locally on the Garmin (no internet, all on-device routse, but mainly because I didn't want to waste time, battery and internet learning how to get routes through different internet systems and onto the Garmin) - they were not bad routes, fine on a bike but cycle.travel created better routes. But having the Garmin that does on-device route creation is a good backup.

Ian

Thehairs1970
Posts: 189
Joined: 11 Aug 2018, 9:30am

Re: mapping

Postby Thehairs1970 » 9 Feb 2020, 9:39pm

I used Komoot on my iPhone 5 on a trip to the Alps. Did the subscription which gave access to all areas. Downloaded what I wanted at home, but could have used public wifi, then used offline at home. It's great but sucks the battery like nobody's business. So I switched off when not needed.

I like cycle.travel but find it a pain to use when not on a laptop.

teamroche
Posts: 3
Joined: 9 Feb 2020, 6:16pm

Re: mapping

Postby teamroche » 12 Feb 2020, 9:04pm

Thank you all for taking the time to reply. I am sorry you had such a bad experience with the wahoo Psamathe. I have used mine extensively for 3 years and never had any issue.

The consensus seems to be in favour of cycle travel , so I will go with that. I had not thought of printing off maps from it - thank you wood tourer! I have just discovered that RWGPS now allows easy route creation from a mobile which means I should be able to use that for changing routes where/when necessary . I like your idea - Hobbesontour - of putting cycle travel routes onto RWGPS so they are available offline if needed. A great back up.

One more question.... how do you keep everything charged? 1. rely on staying somewhere everyday to recharge. 2. use power packs 3. use solar chargers. 4. have dynamos?

Thanks so much for helping

Psamathe
Posts: 11209
Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:56pm

Re: mapping

Postby Psamathe » 12 Feb 2020, 9:29pm

I use a fair amount of electronics - Garmin GPS, iPhone (recording track), iPad for web site/photos upload/route planning/etc., camera, bluetooth headphones, Kindle.

I use a solar panel and a couple of small battery packs. Battery packs are useful to recharge stuff overnight (and recharge the battery packs next day (though they don't need much). I only use the solar panel whilst camping (i.e. after arriving and setting-up tent. I don't bother with it whilst cycling.

Solar panel: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B012VL20GW/
Battery packs (x2, but could manage with 1 fine): https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B072MH1434/

I do also carry a mains USB charger as the above is fine whilst the sun shines but a few overcast, rainy days and I can get a bit short of power. When I do need a mains socket not normally a problem. Many campsites have a room you can use or will plug-in in their office or I ask to borrow a mains adapter (the caravan socket to normal mains) - and they've never charged me for a mains hook-up.

Ian

HobbesOnTour
Posts: 412
Joined: 20 Feb 2017, 5:12pm

Re: mapping

Postby HobbesOnTour » 13 Feb 2020, 12:12am

teamroche wrote:
One more question.... how do you keep everything charged? 1. rely on staying somewhere everyday to recharge. 2. use power packs 3. use solar chargers. 4. have dynamos?

Thanks so much for helping


Again, a topic much discussed :wink:

If you're staying in hotels/b&B's it shouldn't be a problem.
If camping there can be security issues of leaving your devices unattended or the hassle of babysitting them unless there's an electrical point at your site.
If you want to go self sufficient then it's probably a combination of dynohub, solar panel and top up charging whenever you get a chance. As well as controlling your energy usage.

I use a dynohub coupled with a cycle 2charge unit to charge a powerbank for most of the day. Near the end, I plug in my Elemnt and top that off.
I never charge any other electronics directly from the hub.
Off the bike I charge my phone/Kindle/iPod(rarely used) and batteries (lights & camera).
I use 2 powerbanks for reasons of redundancy.

I also have a solar panel for off the bike. I find it pretty ineffective on the bike.

My (international) plug has space for 2 USB ports. Handy when I have the option to plug in.

My dynohub kept me charged from NL to Ireland and back again over 3 weeks. No external power.

To use a dynohub effectively you need to maintain a minimum speed. In my case it's 13kph (26 inch wheels). It's generally not advised to use dynamo lights and a charger at the same time so dynamo lights should have an off switch.

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Cunobelin
Posts: 10175
Joined: 6 Feb 2007, 7:22pm

Re: mapping

Postby Cunobelin » 13 Feb 2020, 6:43am

I am an Olympus user and use their tracking software to geotag photos

It can be shared by email and easily converted to GPX

For tracking, I use this now as opposed to a separate device

I also tend to use Waze as a backup navigation as it offers up to date road advice on traffic, obstructions etc

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Sweep
Posts: 6030
Joined: 20 Oct 2011, 4:57pm
Location: London

Re: mapping

Postby Sweep » 13 Feb 2020, 10:38am

HobbesOnTour wrote:
Osmand has been my backup for years. Free or cheap, works offline for routing. Can be used offline to plan and save a gpx track, then with the correct cabling can connect to your unit for a 100% internet free navigator (so long as the maps are downloaded). It is slow *offline for long routes and does have a steep learning curve.

I too use osmand for some things. Can i ask what your methodology is?
Do you get it to route, then dump the entire thing to a gpx, providing you with a coloured on road breadcrumb trail to follow on the garmin?
Or do you edit the route/file in some way within osmand on the tablet before transferring it to the garmin?
(As you have maybe guessed i am not a great fan of breadcrumb trails?)
Sweep

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Morzedec
Posts: 258
Joined: 11 Jul 2016, 6:03pm
Location: Cornwall/Deux-Sevres

Re: mapping

Postby Morzedec » 13 Feb 2020, 11:08am

Hello, if you really are 'Team Roche' I might have thought that you knew your way around Europe by now?

Whatever, all I'll suggest is that you buy yourself a paper map, draw a highlighted line on it, and then follow the line: no batteries required.

Happy days,

HobbesOnTour
Posts: 412
Joined: 20 Feb 2017, 5:12pm

Re: mapping

Postby HobbesOnTour » 13 Feb 2020, 3:38pm

Sweep wrote:
HobbesOnTour wrote:
Osmand has been my backup for years. Free or cheap, works offline for routing. Can be used offline to plan and save a gpx track, then with the correct cabling can connect to your unit for a 100% internet free navigator (so long as the maps are downloaded). It is slow *offline for long routes and does have a steep learning curve.

I too use osmand for some things. Can i ask what your methodology is?
Do you get it to route, then dump the entire thing to a gpx, providing you with a coloured on road breadcrumb trail to follow on the garmin?
Or do you edit the route/file in some way within osmand on the tablet before transferring it to the garmin?
(As you have maybe guessed i am not a great fan of breadcrumb trails?)


First of all, I use a Wahoo Elemnt, not a Garmin.

I typically create a route in OSMand (adjusting it is a PITA but can be done, if necessary).
I save the route as a gpx file on the tablet and transfer it to my phone using Bluetooth.
If I have internet access I import the gpx file into the Wahoo app, select it and it is now on my Elemnt unit and ready to follow.
This will be a monochrome breadcrumb trail. I pretty much exclusively use breadcrumb trails anyway.

If there is no internet access I can copy the gpx file to the unit directly with a cable, bypassing the app.

I can cut out a step by doing it all on my phone. The tablet is really just for a bigger screen.

I emphasise that this is my backup/emergency planner. It's offline capabilities are impressive. It is not my go-to "daily" planner.

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Sweep
Posts: 6030
Joined: 20 Oct 2011, 4:57pm
Location: London

Re: mapping

Postby Sweep » 13 Feb 2020, 4:05pm

thanks for the reply Hobbes.

Maybe I'll try a breadcrumb ride, though I can see one being a problem at night with my garmin (apologies for not picking up on the GPS you use).
Sweep

HobbesOnTour
Posts: 412
Joined: 20 Feb 2017, 5:12pm

Re: mapping

Postby HobbesOnTour » 13 Feb 2020, 4:59pm

Sweep wrote:thanks for the reply Hobbes.

Maybe I'll try a breadcrumb ride, though I can see one being a problem at night with my garmin (apologies for not picking up on the GPS you use).

Not a problem. I only emphasised the point for anyone reading with a Garmin. My method may not work (as well) for them, although the offline cable option does.

A breadcrumb trail suits me. I like to go off course and TBT instructions stay on the screen, reducing the size of the map. (I can probably hit a button to remove that though).
It's rarely confusing in rural areas as to which turn to take and in urban areas I prefer the full map as opposed to losing a third with an instruction.
I avoid touring at night, but if necessary the Elemnt has a backlight. Of course, with a breadcrumb trail it has to be on all the time. Not a big issue in reality.

The only advantage of TBT instructions in my book are self made reminders such as "Campground, next one 20km" and the like. RWGPS used to let me do that for free, but not anymore. In any case, I had to be on the route for those to work.
Anyway, it's a lot of work and there are many easier options such as a saved Google Map.