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News from CycleStreets

Exporting cycle routes to GPS

We added a way of saving a cycle route to a GPS device following requests when we demonstrated the system in Manchester in May.

We have changed this now, so that:

  1. Both the Quietest and Fastest routes are included in a single exported .gpx file.
  2. Only the first point on each street is named. Previously it was every point and we were told this produced too much clutter on the screen.

We’ll continue to review this feature as we receive more feedback – do get in touch if you have more suggestions.

I (Simon) have been doing some mapping of my own recently – of my home town, Hinckley in Leicestershire. The town has been mapped, already but mostly of the main roads. I was able to add all the cycle routing detail to two areas in the north of the town, and a few useful country links, when I go there again I hope to have the chance to do more. All this activity has made me understand better the perspective of the CycleStreets system from the mapper’s point of view. It has made me realise the need for a page on our site to explain clearly how we interpret OpenStreetMap.org data, and what tags we pick up that help improve the quality of the generated routes.

3 Responses to “Exporting cycle routes to GPS”

  1. AntS Says:

    Thanks for the excellent work. A couple of comments:
    – the KML track is quite hard to see in Google Earth – perhaps you could increase the width?
    – for the postcodes data, have you considered using http://www.freethepostcode.org/? This is used by OSM and seems to work quite well, though it’s obviously not yet comprehensive.
    – could you add a filter/preference to use NCN routes where possible in the route planner? This would make it easier to download NCN routes for use in a GPS.

  2. Simon Nuttall Says:

    Good points, I have set the width of the route lines to 4 (they were unspecified before) so the route is now more visible. E.g.export the kml from the quietest route at:http://newquay.cyclestreets.net/journey/75480/ (which I shall be riding soon as part of our hills research week).

    The lines in the kml are coloured to match the provision type colours (http://cambridge.cyclestreets.net/journey/help/provision/) but maybe that is a bit too subtle. In Google Earth the style of the whole route can be changed: In version 5 the method is: Right-click on the route (shown as a folder in the Places section), choose Properties, then in the Style, Color tab choose the Share Style button. Change the colour and width there.

    For postcodes, we rely on the OpenStreetMap.org namefinder service, which can find already find many postcodes to a rough degree of accuracy.

    As for filters, the challenge here is to keep the routing as clear as possible avoiding clutter with too many options, but we are hearing that our users want more options like you suggest.

  3. David Webb Says:

    Just exported a route to he Trails iphone app and I’ve now got the three routes on screen (whooo) but also a straight line between the start and end. Never go this before (when the quiet and fast were seperate exports). Love the idea of having the three routes together (means I can switch between them enroute if I feel like it) but having the straight line does clutter up the display. Anyway of getting rid of it?

We welcome your feedback, especially to report bugs or give us route feedback.

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