bike trails

November 19th, 2006

So far I've been mapping my bike trails with Gmaps Pedometer, which is a handy site just for this. You have to plot the points and then the trail is stored and you get a persistent url. It shows the distance traveled and it can show you the elevation as well (which in Holland is, well, pretty redundant ). But there's no special interface for keeping track of these routes, so I'm switching to Bikely.com, which is the same concept, but specific for bikers. It has a nice interface for browsing and searching for routes. I've transfered my routes to the site, three so far, and I hope to add some more in the near future.

Apparently, I've covered almost 130km in three trips, can you believe it? That's easily Trondheim - Oppdal. If I keep this up I might even cover enough distance to the equivalent of Den Store Styrkeprøven (the Great Test of Strength), that is Trondheim - Oslo. Well, aside from one little detail - the terrain on that route is hilly as hell (elevation of up to 1000m), whereas Holland... isn't. Apparently, last year's winner took 14h over those 540km, insanity! That's an average speed of 38km/h, mine last night [you know, when I almost killed myself? ] was... 18 km/h

Anyway, the cool thing about this stuff is that it's actual GPS data being handled. Both of the sites are derived from Google Maps, which really shows how great Google's concept is (and how they are allowing others to use it instead of locking it up like a lot of companies would!). So that means you can download routes in GPX format, which is a standard format for this, and use it with a GPS device, for instance. You could also use GPS to track your actual travel route (instead of plotting it by hand) and then upload that to a website that handles GPS info. It's pretty neat, all this.

:: random entries in this category ::

2 Responses to "bike trails"

  1. Jack says:

    Why are the handheld GPS devices so expensive and then comes the maps bought for them. Why can't a person get maps from Google and use them? Or are they following MS steps?

  2. numerodix says:

    It's a niche market. I was looking at GPS devices for my bike last night and it's just too expensive. All consumer electronics tend to sell the same exact way, they give you a list of functions that are supposed to wow you, then you realize one or two things you want aren't on that list, and that the price is too high anyway. For instance I wouldn't mind a device to track my biking and then save the file as gpx to use online, but that kind of thing costs in the range of $300 easily. And even so I can't establish how practical it actually is without borrowing one, not to mention that these things tend to have their own little proprietary lameass data standards, so you need a special stupid program (Windows only) to transfer the data etc etc. Because interoperability and open standards is never a priority to these guys.
    So for now I'll just be using Google Maps, the one thing that really works.