Development Update

Just to keep the skills current I have, over the last few years, worked at developing a map editor for bicycle touring. The concept was to take the Adventure Cycling Associations’ GPX files of their routes and load any number of the files on a Google Map. Then be able to build a custom route using pieces of different ACA routes.

Google Map

ACA route 1

………… multiple files per route (Roughly one file for every paper map)

……………… multiple segments per file. (Each segment roughly 30 miles)

………………. multiple placemarks/waypoints.

ACA route 2

…………. multiple files per route (Roughly one file for every paper map)

………………. multiple segments per file. (Each segment roughly 30 miles)

……………….. multiple placemarks/waypoints.

……………………………………………….

ACA route N

…………. multiple files per route (Roughly one file for every paper map)

………………. multiple segments per file. (Each segment roughly 30 miles)

……………….. multiple placemarks/waypoints.

Further complicated by having the capability to have multiple copies of the editor on a single web page.

Largely that editor has been completed and is part of this website’s admin functions. Having made several attempts to have others use it and provide feedback I relented to the fact that few really need the capabilities offered and it was far too different than anything else out there. It was also very difficult to use because of accommodating the internal complexities made the user interface less than intuitive.

There are any number of bicycling map editors and maybe five or so very good ones. A common characteristic most of the editors have is that they are oriented to day rides and not multi day bicycle tours. Functionally they all seem to have a set of common features. This should be expected as most use Google Maps API V3.+ So what one can do most everyone else can do as well. Many of the mapping sites have turned to being workout oriented and tracking the users training progress. But none seem to be oriented towards the bicycle tourist who probably doesn’t care about training logs but is more interested in road conditions and facilities along a route.

Google Maps used to be the goto place where you would plan your bicycle tours. But Google has made Google Maps a less friendly and more awkward place to do this. And many of the better and more popular sites are turning to premium fees for the advanced features.

With that back story I am now working on a map editor that has less complexity than my current map editor but will retain the ability to do multiple segments or routes in a single map file like ACA files have. And unlike the popular map editors there will be no registration because map files will be loaded (imported) and saved (exported) to the users machine. To share the maps they can be imported into another website that provides sharing storage. The goal is to provide a free tool that bicycle tourist can use and that matches much of the functionality offered by the other editors.

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